Pack your bags and head to Southeast Asia a thrilling journey through some of the area’s most incredible sights. Begin the 15-day tour by walking through the streets of Hanoi, a city where timeless French architecture meets elegant Vietnamese pagodas. Continue to Ha Long Bay and sail to picturesque islands and remote caves. On board your cruise ship, learn the calming martial art of Tai Chi and feel your stress melt away. Return to land and travel to the scenic towns of Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Phu, Sapa and more. In the gorgeous countryside, prepare to be spellbound by the miles of rich green rice fields, endless forests and misty mountains. Fly to Cambodia and uncover Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. Here, you’ll trek through many ancient abandoned temples and learn about Khmer history and culture.
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Fly into the gorgeous capital of Hanoi and settle in at your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the fascinating city on your own. See where the East and West meet as Hanoi blends Vietnamese and French culture together. In the evening, take a stroll around the city and admire the many timeless buildings built in European style.
Begin the day with an unforgettable tour of Hanoi and see the unique stilt house where Ho Chi Minh lived. After the tour of his home, walk through his alluring garden and carp-filled pond. Continue on to the unbelievable one-pillar pagoda, the Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. In the afternoon, appreciate art at its finest at the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts, followed by a stop at the beautiful Ngoc Son Temple, which sits on the stunning Hoan Kiem Lake. Travel to the Old Quarter, a maze of streets bustling with thousands of shops and enjoy a cyclo tour through the busy roads. The excursion will finish with an extraordinary performance at the Water Puppet Theatre in the early evening.
After breakfast, take a 3-hour drive to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indulge in delicious Vietnamese cuisine at a local buffet before boarding a cruise ship that will take you to the picturesque towns of Hon Gai, Cam Pha and the fishing village of Vung Vieng. After a day of sightseeing, enjoy some free time once back on the ship. We recommend kayaking into the floating village or swim in the cool waters of the bay.
In the early morning, try a Tai Chi class on the deck. After, the ship will take you to Lan Ha Bay, a destination famous for its many scenic limestone mountains. We will stop on Cat Ba island, where you’ll have the opportunity to cycle around or kayak off its shore. Continue to the Three Peach Beach and take a dip in the crystal blue waters. Be sure to work up an appetite for a freshly-caught seafood lunch. Later, sail where few have journeyed and visit the Ho Ba Ham Islet, the most secluded point in Lan Ha Bay. In the evening, watch an impressive Vietnamese cooking demonstration onboard your accommodating ship.
Start your day with another rejuvenating Tai Chi session. After breakfast, cruise by the gorgeous landscapes of the Trong Grotto and the Trinh Nu Caves. Next, you’ll visit the natural beauty of the Coc Ngoi Islet and the Sung Sot Cave, the largest and most breathtaking in Ha Long Bay. In the afternoon, head back to Hanoi and stay the night there.
Travel 4 hours to one of Vietnam’s best kept secrets and discover Mai Chau, a region with an abundance of misty mountains, lush green rice paddies and old fashioned villages. After a tasty local lunch, use your free time to unwind and take in the tranquility of the Mai Chau Valley. Here, you’ll experience traditional Vietnamese culture and stay overnight in a homestay at a local village.
Kick off the day with a scenic 4-hour drive to Son La and lose yourself in an ocean of rice fields. Keep your eyes open for the traditional markets in the Black Tai villages and a tea growing region in the mountains. The ride will continue to the forest home of the Hmong people, an Asian ethnic group who take pride in their culture and independence. Shortly after, we will arrive in Son La in the early evening.
Spend the day in Dien Bien Phu (2 hours away) and tour the Army Museum. After the museum, make your way to A1 Hill, the historic site where Vietnamese and French forces battled in 1946. Continue hiking up the hills and stop at the top to take in the amazing view of the city.
Experience another lovely 8-hour drive and watch the fertile green valleys and beautiful mountains pass you by as we travel to the quaint town of Sapa. Sapa is rich in cultural diversity because many ethnic minorities live in and around the rustic town. You’ll arrive in the late afternoon, and you may use the remainder of the day to experience Sapa’s rugged scenery.
Head to Ban Khoang and walk through the pastoral village to experience the life of Vietnamese locals. Continue on to the Ta Giang Phin Valley where the Black Hmong people live in various settlements. Here, you will visit different hamlets and watch men harvest crops and women sew traditional gowns. This evening, you’ll return to Sapa, where we board an overnight train back to Hanoi.
Say goodbye to Vietnam and board a flight to Siem Reap. After hotel check in, take the rest of the day to sightsee the famous Cambodian city on your own. Consider visiting the Angkor National Museum, where exhibits tell the history of Khmer culture and the Angkor complex. We recommend one of the following luxurious hotels: Amansara, La Residence d’Angkor, Park Hyatt Siem Reap, or Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor.
Experience the expedition of a lifetime and spend the day at Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After, visit the ancient royal city of Angkor Thom and walk through the South Gate, where large statues welcome visitors. In the afternoon, discover the Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, the Phimeanakas Hindu temple, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Finish the day with a boat ride on a majestic Angkor Gondola and catch the sun setting over Angkor Thom.
Today, you are headed to see the Banteay Srei temple, one of the best examples of classical Khmer art. Next, travel to the secluded Beng Mealea temple situated in the thick jungle and trek through the abandoned sanctuary. After a picnic lunch in the wilderness, continue to the ancient town of Koh Ker and uncover more deserted monuments.
Begin the day with an excursion to Chong Khneas, a floating village on the outskirts of Siem Reap. Sail on the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake in a traditional wooden boat. Once on land, walk through the village and stop at the school of the Chantier Ecoles where locals learn the art of stone carving, wood ornamental sculpture, furniture making and more. Next, enjoy a stroll through the lively local market and dine at a nearby restaurant for lunch.
On your last day, use your free time to see the rest of Siem Reap. We recommend taking a tour of the Angkor Silk Farm. Learn the incredible silk making process as you watch Cambodians take a cocoon and turn it into a high quality thread with traditional weaving techniques. Head to Siem Reap International Airport, where we say farewell.
This richly historic 364-room French colonial masterpiece built in 1901 is one of Vietnam's finest hotels, with luxuriously appointed rooms, attentive staff and gracious service. It is ideally located in central Hanoi and houses a beautiful interior garden. Excellent French cuisine is served at Le Beaulieu, and Hanoi specialties are offered at Spices Garden. The hotel has a well-equipped fitness center with cardio machines and weights, as well as a swimming pool and spa offering massage treatments. All of the guest rooms have broadband Internet access and are decorated in an opulent, neo-classical style.
Nestled amongst the tribal villages in the rolling, green valley of Mai Chau you will find the remote Mai Chau Lodge. This entirely unique approach to cultural exploration and relaxation combined will satiate every one of your senses and adventurous expectations. A fantastic blend of modern comfort, breathtaking natural beauty, rich history and culture, will leave you with lasting memories of your stay in Vietnam. Your Mai Chau experience is sure to be memorable and action packed, with a full range of activities - from swimming to kayaking, to cycling and rock climbing - you will not have a dull moment during your stay. The Mai Chau Lodge offers guests comfortable accommodation with a choice of mountain or valley views, along with access to all of the hotel’s impressive facilities. Rooms are tastefully designed with a focus on textiles and traditional furnishings and are equipped with Western style bedding. High ceilings and large windows enhance your space giving the room a peaceful and uplifting feel.
With 80 rooms to offer, the Cong Doan Son La Hotel provides guests with comfort and quaint traditional beauty. Guests can expect high ceilings, light wood tones, a balcony with a view, soft beds, satellite TV, a bathtub and complimentary breakfast. The helpful staff members speak basic English and are happily accommodating and warm. The hotel faces a small park and is within walking distance to sites, restaurants, spas, parks and a beach.
Situated in a peaceful, remote setting, between mountain high and forest low, Him Lam Hotel and the surrounding area are a favorite amongst nature enthusiast and eco-tourists alike. Him Lam offers a variety of options for its guests, from typical, modern rooms to traditional stilt-home accommodations. The hotel has placed an emphasis on sustainability and providing environmentally friendly options for the conscious traveler. A large restaurant specializing in both European and Asian cuisines, a swimming pool, tennis and badminton courts, spa, coffee shop and karaoke bar are among the amenities available to guests.
The Muong Thanh Hotel is a familiar, western-style oasis in the midst of a beautiful, yet remote and foreign landscape, a welcome comfort to travelers. The 4-star hotel is located in the colorful center of in Dien Bien Phu. The newly upgraded hotel is equipped with two restaurants, a spa, swimming pool, bar, discotheque, sports facilities and tourism center. Centrally located, guests can explore the surrounding sites including the famous, historic battlefields and restaurants to try some of the local specialties with ease. Guests may expect comfortable, spacious, clean and well-furnished rooms along with professional and warm service.
The four-star Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa, the only luxury hotel in the region, was built in traditional chalet style with wooden décor. The Resort overhangs the village, blending in perfectly with its natural surroundings. Its 77 rooms and suites feature private terraces with views over the Sapa village, the resort’s lush gardens or Mount Fansipan, and the property comes with all the modern amenities one would expect from a four-star hotel. The resort's Ta Van restaurant combines French and Vietnamese cuisine around a cozy central fireplace, as well as traditional dance performances every Saturday. Guests can travel between Hanoi and the resort on the luxurious Victoria Express sleeping train.
Located approximately five miles from the famed Angkor Wat, Amansara is sleek, stylish and superbly private. Formerly the guest villa of King Norodom Sihanouk, the grounds were originally laid out in 1962 and designed to embrace both modern design and the rich artistic legacy of Cambodia. This tranquil oasis is surrounded by beautiful gardens and includes a curved slate swimming pool. The 24 suites are decorated in a classic Indochinese palette of cool gray, pristine white, dark timber and ivory, and all include a private courtyard and soothing water features; 12 suites are equipped with private swimming pools. The Roof Garden, shaded by trees, is the ideal venue for relaxing by candlelight with cocktails, or for invigorating morning yoga sessions. The Spa, which has four treatment rooms, focuses on therapeutic Cambodian techniques using organic products. Every suite has access to its own remork and driver. On the 2007 Zagat Survey list of the world’s best hotels, Amansara was ranked number two for service.
This traditional Khmer-styled hotel is located close to Angkor Wat, offering 62 spacious rooms and suites. Each are equipped with satellite flat-screen televisions, DVD players, Wi-Fi connectivity and a freeform terrazza bathtub. The rooms and suites are decorated with jewel-toned silk and bamboo furnishings with a floor-to-ceiling window. La Residence offers two on-site restaurants serving Khmer and barbecue cuisines, and a bar and lounge overlooking the pool and garden. Other facilities include the Condé Nast Traveler’s 2010 listed Kong Kea Spa, two shopping boutiques, a fitness center and a large outdoor swimming pool. La Residence d’Angkor is approximately 20 minutes from the nearest airport.
A grand, historic hotel, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor opened its doors in the early 1930s. It is located on the main road to Angkor Wat and was planned so that it aligns on a north-south axis with Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Now sensitively restored, the hotel’s classic style coupled with its renewed modernity complement the grandeur of Angkor Wat. The hotel has 131 guest rooms and suites, each tastefully appointed with Art Deco-styled furnishings and Cambodian objets d’art. Guest services include the Raffles Amrita Spa, a fitness center, and a host of classes in the Raffles Amrita Pavilion, from Khmer dancing to Tai Chi. Elegant dining options range from the formal Restaurant Le Grand, to the Café d’Angkor, to the wide selection of cocktails at the famed Elephant Bar.