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Our Tour
October 2006

Fri 6 Oct 2006: Arrive Siem Reap, Cambodia

Overnight in Siem Reap at the Angkor Century hotel.

Sat 7 Oct 2006:Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire. On arrival begin a tour of the temples that includes the early-Angkor era temples of the Roluos Group - Preah Ko, Ba Kong and Lo Lei. In the afternoon continue to the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the famous Bayon, and the Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King. Return to hotel after watching the sunset at Phnom Bakheng. 


Sun 8 Oct 2006: Siem Reap

Depart in the early morning to enjoy the sunrise in Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap then take an extensive tour of the magnificent 12th century Angkor Wat. In the afternoon continue to Srah Srang, Banteay Kdei, the fabulous Ta Prohm Temple, embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers and the small twin temples of Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon. 


Mon 9 Oct 2006: Depart Siem Reap  

After breakfast, transfer 30 km south of Siem Reap to see the Tonle Sap lake, which is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Take the boat trip and admire the floating fishing villages dot the semi-submerged forest that lines the flood plane rim of the lake, offering an excellent place to see lakeside rural Cambodia, and a unique ecosystem rich with birds and other wildlife. Return to Siem Reap after the boat cruise. In the afternoon transfer to airport for taking a flight to Hanoi.

Overnight in Hanoi at the Hoa Binh hotel


Tues 10 Oct 2006: Hanoi Day Tour

Pick up from hotel at 8.00am. The Ho Chi Minh Complex, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, Ethnologic Museum, Temple of Literature and the Hoan Kiem lake, Dong Xuan Market, Quan Thanh Temple, and west lake lunch is Hanoian swimp cake on a restaurant beside west lake. In the evening is a Water Puppet show – (includes lunch, entrance fees all places, transfer by car whole day, a tour guide, water puppet show ticket)

North West Exploring  -
1200 km - Perfume Pagoda, Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Phu, Tam Duong, SaPa, Bac Ha.
Day 1:  Wed 11th Oct   Hanoi // Perfume Pagoda // Mai Chau
We pick you up from your hotel in HaNoi. Overland drive to Perfume Pagoda. After spending around 4 hours to visit this Buddhist pilgrim's land, we continue road trip to MaiChau, where we spend one night on the stilt house of the White Thai minority people. Lunch en route. Dinner in Thai's village. Evening: A folk show performed by the local amateur troupe. 

Day 2:   Thurs 12 Oct   Mai Chau // Son La
AM: We visit to villages of the Green H'mong people. Then, continue the road trip to SonLa, passing the villages of Black Thai. Stay in SonLa's guest house.
Day 3 :  Fri 13th Oct   Son La // Dien Bien Phu

AM: Drive to DienBienPhu with many sightseeing stops en route at villages of Red H'mong, Black Thai groups. Check in hotel in town. PM: Excursion to DienBienPhu historic sites and former battle field.
Day 4:   Sat 14th Oct   Dien Bien Phu // Tam Duong

We drive through the most beautiful part of the journey from DienBienPhu to TamDuong, through the land of several different ethnic groups such as Red H'mong, Coin Dzao, White H'mong , Black Dzao etc. Many sightseeing stops en route. Check in a guest house in TamDuong.

Day 5:   Sun 15th Oct   Tam Duong // Sapa

Before leaving TamDuong for SaPa, we will witness a very impressive Sunday Market, where we have a chance to meet not less than 10 different groups of ethnic minorities, including Red H'mong, White H'mong, Black Dzao, Coin Dzao, XaPho, Lao, Lu etc.. Then, we drive crossing the highest in Vietnam mountain pass (1900 m above sea level) to SaPa. Check in hotel on arrival. Free at leisure.
Day 6:   Mon 16th Oct   Sapa
We spend a day for walking to surrounding villages of the Black H'mong, Red Dzao. As today is Monday, we can enjoy the real spirit of SaPa when there is only few other travelers in town (mostly in the weekend days, the town is invaded by tourists, both foreigners and domestic). Stay in hotel.
Day 7:  Tues 17th Oct   Sapa // Coc Ly Market // Bac Ha                 
We leave SaPa for CocLy for visiting another Tribe Market, where we can see Flowered H'mong, PhuLa, Dzao, Tay etc. The CocLy market is held on Tuesday only. Then, continue driving to BacHa. Check in hotel on arrival. PM: We do a short walking to the villages of the Flowered H'mong to discover their art of how to cook a famous wine from corn. Stay in BacHa.

Day 8:   Wed 18th Oct   Bac Ha/Hanoi                                             
We drive back to HaNoi with sightseeing stops at village of the Nung people. Lunch en route. Tour ends at your hotel around 5pm
Dinner at Emperor Restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi at Hoa Binh Hotel 


Thurs 19th Oct 2006: Hanoi at lesiure

A full day free to explore Hanoi. Enjoy your walking tour to explore the fascinating Old quarter of Hanoi. The Old Quarter, home to more than 1000 traditional houses, dates from 1010, when King Ly Thai To moved his capital from Hoa Lu in northern Ninh Binh Province to Hanoi. The Old Quarter became the trading centre of the metropolis and its 36 streets are named after the merchants’ crafts and trades. For example Hang Gai Street is full of silk shops, Hang Giay overflowing with shoes and Hang Bac with small silversmiths.


Fri 20th Oct Hanoi - Halong

8.30am meet your driver guide in the hotel’s lobby. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Halong bay is a natural wonder of the world and one of Vietnam’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, magnificent Halong Bay lies 160km to the east of Hanoi. Over three thousand jagged limestone islands emerge from the emerald green waters of Halong Bay. While some islands are no more than large rocks others are much more substantial and contain huge cathedral-like caves of stalactites and stalagmites. Upon arrival in Halong city, enjoy a cocktail at the quay at Bai Chay before boarding the Emeraude, a wonderful replica of one of the classic steamships of the colonial era of French Indochina. With 37 luxurious air-conditioned cabins, a restaurant, two bars and a sundeck this is the ultimate Halong Bay experience. Lunch is served on board at 13:00. Whilst cruising on the emerald green waters of the bay try a traditional Vietnamese foot massage as an optional extra. Another optional extra is high tea served on the sundeck in the late afternoon. A sunset cocktail is served on the sundeck at 18:30 followed by a buffet dinner between 20:00 and 23:00. Overnight on board the Emeraude. 


Sat 21st Oct 2006: Halong- Hanoi

Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Tuan Chau quay. Early morning Tai Chi is an optional extra on the sundeck from 6:00 to 7:00 before breakfast. Arrive back at Bai Chay at 9:30 for disembarkation. Private small boat trip for 5 hours, including seafood lunch – Visit caves including Thien Cuang and Hang Dau Go (wooden stakes cave).


Then drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi at the Hoa Binh hotel. 

Text and Photos Copyright Nova Fisher 2006