Highlights of two Exciting and Charming Countries: Vietnam and Thailand
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  Duration: 14 DAYS/13 NIGHTS STYLE: Adventure Travel

Highlights of two Exciting and Charming Countries: Vietnam and Thailand

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During this 14-days tour you will travel through two of the most exciting and charming countries in south east Asian. You will visit the many highlights of both countries including the capital cities old and new of Vietnam and Thailand with many stops in between.

The tour starts in the north of Vietnam, where you will be excited and charmed by the vivacity of the capital city of Vietnam- Hanoi and revel in the spectacular and mysterious Ha Long Bay. The Bay is now recognized as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and for good reason. Often known as 'inland Ha Long Bay' because of the similarities of massive rock formations emerging out of water, Tam Coc in the Ninh Binh Province offers a character and qualities all of its own. In fact the whole province of Ninh Binh is full or treasures and potential adventures into nature, history and culture.

Moving south, the  go to the ancient capital of Vietnam, to the small and delightful town of Hue. Visit the Citadel and travel down the Perfume River to visit the Pagodas and Temples from past eras. Going further south, you go to the newer town of DaNang and onto the charming Hoi An with its amazing architecture, narrow streets, shops, restaurants and cafes that hug the riverside.

Last stop in Vietnam is to Ho Chi Minh city. If Hanoi is the true capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is the commercial capital. Busy, bustling and exciting, it has something to offer everyone. From Ho Chi Minh, you will travel to the Mekong Delta to see this magnificent area in which people live much the same as they have done for past centuries on and around the river.

And so onto see the highlights of Thailand where a whole new set of sites and experiences are set to excite and charm you. A sightseeing tour around Bangkok will take you to see magnificent Buddha statues in ornate Pagodas and Palaces. You will take a boat ride to see how people live on the river's edge and enjoy the ample opportunities for shopping at whatever level suits your taste...from the markets to the designer and everything in between. Bangkok of course is the modern capital of Thailand but this trip takes you to experience the old capital of Ayuthaya. Here you will see ancient sites of cultural, political and religious significance.

'Highlights of two Exciting and Charming Countries: Vietnam and Thailand' delivers just what it says. It offers a well-rounded and exciting trip to enjoy the very different but equally engaging countries.e you to see the spectacular and mysterious Ha Long Bay and Ninh Binh Province. This trip offers a well-rounded and exciting adventure to share the very different but equally engaging charms of these two magnificent countries.

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WHY YOU SHOULD BOOK THIS TOUR WITH US?
  • Personal attention to detail by all HGH from the time of your initial enquiry through to the end of your tour
  • 24 hour support available during the tour
  • Enjoy the degree of historical and cultural information throughout your tour from our local and knowledgeable tour hosts to the degree that you and your group are interested.
  • We focus on sustainable tourism by creating the very best experience for you as the tourist while supporting our local environment and local people
Itinerary Highlights
Day 1: Arrival Ha Noi

Your arrival at the Noi Bai International Airport marks the start of your tour. Our guide is waiting to welcome you and take you into Ha Noi, the 1000-year-old capital city of Vietnam, and the commercial, political, and cultural heart of the country.

A city tour of Hanoi starts with a visit to Hoan Kiem Lake where you will see the Ngoc Son Temple established to worship Saint Van Xuong and Tran Hung Dao, a former general commander. You will then set out for a 1-hour cyclo ride around the 36 streets in the Old Quarter of Hanoi followed by a welcome dinner at one of the many local restaurants. After that, you are free to explore on your own or relax in your hotel room.

Hotel in Ha Noi.

Day 2: Ha Noi

Today is the city tour of Hanoi starting with a visit to the One-Pillar Pagoda. We will then take a short drive to the Temple of Literature. Built in October 1073 to worship Confucius, it is the first known university in Vietnam. Hanoi is a place of contrast from the old town with its narrow streets to the elegance of the tree lined boulevards in the French quarter where we can see the Hanoi Opera House, the State Bank, former Governor's palace, and the Hanoi Cathedral (Saint Joseph’s built in the late 19th century).

Later in the evening, we will enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants before going to see the unique and intriguing Water Puppet Show,a traditional folk performance held on the Red River Delta.

Hotel in Ha Noi.

Day 3: Ha Noi – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc

Leaving Ha Noi, we travel 80 km south to the Ninh Binh Province. This is an area of outstanding beauty, unrivaled historical and religious sites. Often known as the ‘Ha Long Bay on Land’, the area has large rock structures jutting out of the water and the land that are reminicient of the Bay.

We begin our tour with a relaxing sampan (boat) ride through the gentle and elegant landscape of plains and mountains leading to the beautiful and mysterious Tam Coc Grottoes. We then have a gentle cycle ride (4km) to the Bich Dong Cave. This journey takes you through breath taking scenery of rice fields and imposing mountains. From Bich Dong Cave, we then head off to Hoa Lu, the former capital of the Dinh and early Le dynasties between the 10th and 11th centuries.

Overnight in Hoa Lu.

A bord d'une barque traditionnelle, promenade le long d'une rivière qui serpente entre rochers karstiques et rizières, en direction de Tam Coc. Petite balade à vélo de 4km au cœur de ce paysage idyllique jusqu'à la grotte de Bich Dong (grotte de jade). Les participants ne souhaitant pas faire de vélo seront transférer par bus à la grotte. Nuit à Hoa Lu.

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Day 4: Hoa Lu – Ha Long

After breakfast, we drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay, one of the most beautiful and mystical places in Southeast Asia. The day starts with a leisurely boat ride through the breathtaking Ha Long Bay where you will see unique mountainous rock formations (karsts) reaching majestically out of the water. We can enjoy a delicious lunch of fresh seafood cooked in a characteristically Vietnamese style while cruising to Bai Tu Long Bay, Teapot Islet, Blockhouse Islet, and Goat Head Islet.

 After lunch, explore the mystery of Sung Sot Cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Ha Long Bay. This is en route to the beach where you can enjoy swimming & kayaking in the bay. We return to the boat in time to settle in and enjoy a spectacular sunset while cruising to the Hang Trong area to anchor at Ho Dong Tien. During the evening, relax in the casual and comfortable atmosphere on the luxury boat and enjoy an elegant dining experience.

To complete a perfect day, relax on deck under the clear, starry sky, enjoying the peace and quiet of the Bay before retiring to your cabin.

Overnight on Board

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Day 5: Ha Long – Ha Noi - Hue

The cruise continues karsts some of which display fantastic shapes, many of which have ancient stories connected to them. We also pass Hoa Cuong and Ga Choi Islands on the way to visit the Luon Cave. Back onboard, we have an early lunch before saying goodbye to the boat and to the crew. On the way back to Ha Noi, we have a short stop at the Bat Trang ceramics and pottery village where they make and sell all kinds of ceramics, embroidery and marble statues.

We go directly to Noi Bai Airport in Ha Noi to catch the flight to Hue in the central region of Vietnam. During the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945), Hue was the political, economic and cultural capital of Vietnam.

Day 6: Hue

We spend the day exploring ancient Hue starting with a boat trip down the romantic Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the oldest and most beautiful pagodas in Hue. We then move on to see the Minh Mang Tomb. Minh Mang was emperor of Vietnam from 1820 to 1841.

 

In the afternoon, a drive into the outskirts of Hue takes us to the peaceful site of the Tu Duc Tomb. The last port of call of the day is the the beautiful World Cultural Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel in the centre of Hue. Within the walls of the Citadel are the Imperial City and Forbidden City, the luxurious and secluded home of past Emperors. Within the 4-kilometer sqare site, you can enjoy various palaces, ornate halls, libraries, residences, colleges, Flag Tower and Noon Gate.

Hotel in Hue.

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Day 7: Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An

Saying goodbye to Hue, we head south to the charming town of Hoi An via the more modern and rapidly growing city of Da Nang. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to take panoramic pictures when we stop at the summit of Hai Van Pass overlooking Lang Co Beach.

Enjoy a walking tour through the narrow and ancient streets of the charming town of Hoi An. Perhaps more than any other places in Vietnam, Hoi An retains the feel of centuries past. Once known as Faifo, Hoi An was an influential port along the Silk Road. For over 500 years, merchants from China, Japan, France and Portugal settled in the prosperous town resulting in a distinctive blend of culture, cuisine, religions and architecture. The town has the status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, listed for having the ‘most unique’ architecture in Southeast Asia. It has been restored and protected by both the UNESCO funding and proud locals ever since. The tour takes in the Chinese Assembly Halls, the 400-year-oldJapanese Covered Bridge and old family houses.

Hoi An is a very comfortable place to be for tourists who are well catered for with the many restaurents, Café’s, bars and shops that not only sell clothes and shoes, they will also make something to order within a 24 hour period. And everything is within easy walking distance.

The evenings are charming when the many lanterns light the river side and the bridge.

Hotel in Hoi An.

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Day 8: Hoi An – Tra Que Vegetable Village

Tra Que is a small village secluded in a green garden of vegetables. It was just a farming/gardening village that provided all the fresh vegetables for the Hoi An people. With the coming of tourists, the village has become a place where people can visit to learn about the way of life of locals who still use the ways used for centuries to farm the land.

Today, you can experience the day living and working with the local people at the village. A short stroll will take you around the vegetable garden and then you can join the farmers in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from the local lake. The experience includes raking the ground, sowing, watering, and picking the vegetables as well many other gardening activities. Working along side the locals, you will also get to understand and appreciate the natural humour and friendliness of the Vietnamese people.

Your reward for your involvement is a relaxing footbath preparing you for the enjoyable task of preparing lunch with a local family. The lunch will consist of many local local delicacies including ‘Tam huu’ (spring roll), Banh Xeo (local pancake) of the people in the middle region of Vietnam.

After lunch, indulge yourself in the Vietnamese traditional afternoon nap before joining the farmers in the field again to learn how to harvest and wrap vegetables. In the afternoon, you return to Hoi An where you will be free to roam and explore on your own or rest and relax in your hotel room as you wish.

Hotel in Hoi An

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Day 9: Hoi An – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City

In the morning, we leave Central Vietnam and head further south to the more fast-paced modernized city of Ho Chi Minh, formally known as “Saigon”. To get there, we drive back to Da Nang and take a flight. 

Once booked into your hotel in Ho Chi Minh, your city tour starts with a visit to the imposing Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat). Next we go to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the most famous landmark in Vietnam as the twin bell towers can be seen from a long distance. In the same square is the famous Saigon Post Office, the largest functioning post office in Vietnam. Designed and built by Gustave Eiffel, this building is extraordinary. Gustave Eiffel is also famous for designing and building the Eiffel Tour in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York.

For a complete change, the next stop is the Ben Thanh Market to absorb the atmosphere or purchase some products that take your interest.

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Day 10: HCM City – Vinh Long – HCM City

Day-10, we set out for the beautiful scenic drive through the Mekong River Delta, home to the richest agricultural lands in Vietnam. Enjoy a boat trip to an island that houses orchard gardens and the beautiful Cai Be Floating Market, a famous place in the Mekong Delta. The Cai Be floating market is a magnificent site to see as hundreds of small merchant boats anchor alongside the banks of the river trading their commodities to locals and tourists alike. We continue with our cruise through the maze of canals that crisscross around An Binh Island.

Déjeuner à la ferme de Monsieur Muoi Huong au village de Bin Hua Phoc. Sur un hectare, Monsieur Muoi Huong cultive tous les fruits tropicaux et des bonsaïs. Continuation de la balade en bateau le long des arroyos. Traversée de 2 km pour arriver à Vinh Long. Temps libre à Vinh Long. Retour à Ho Chi Minh. Dîner avec animation musicale. Nuit à Ho Chi Minh.

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Day 11: HCM City - Bangkok

Saying au reviour to Vietnam, we head out to the airport in the morning for a flight to the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok. On your arrival in Bangkok, your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. Once checked in, you are free to relax at your leisure.

Hotel in Bangkok.

Day 12: Bangkok Sightseeing

Today you will totally enthraled with the splendor and excitement of this huge cosmopolitan city. You visit the magnificent Royal Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha Temple and Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha). Then visit Museum of Siam (The museum opens from Tuesday to Sunday and closes on Monday). Ride on a tuk-tuk to the Flower Market. After lunch (on your own), we ride on a long-tail boat along Bangkok Noi Canals (East of Venice) then visit Wat Trimit (Golden Buddha)

After this busy and intense day, you return to the hotel where you will be free to do whatever you wish for the evening.

Hotel in Bangkok

Day 13: Bangkok – Ayuthaya – Bangkok

Your penultimate day takes you to Ayutthaya, the former Capital of Thailand. We will start at the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, which was once used as the State Banquet Hall followed by Wat Chai Wattanaram also known as Khmer Temple then Wat Phra Sri Sanpetch & Viharn Mongkol Borphit, the former Royal Temple.

A short drive takes us to Wat Chong Lom Pier where we board aboat to take a cruise down the Chao Phraya River to Bangkok. We have a typical Thai buffet lunch onboard. The boat arrives at the River City Pier in Bangkok.

Later in the day, we will take you to the Siam Paragon shopping mall.

Hotel in Bangkok.

La promenade culturelle se poursuit au temple de Wat Chai Wattanaram, représentatif de la culture khmer et jusqu’à l'ancien temple royal. Au  pied du Wat Chong Lom débute votre croisière de retour à Bangkok, le long du fleuve Chao Phraya (restauration en cours de route). Le bateau arrive à Bangkok en fin d’après-midi. Transfert au centre commercial du  Siam Paragon. Dernière soirée libre. Nuit à Bangkok.

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Day 14: Bangkok – Departure

On the day of your departure, you are free to shop, relax and do whatever you would like until it is time to transfer you to Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

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