2019 Tour Details
With its long history, interesting culture, and gorgeous scenery, Vietnam offers something for everyone. On this Vietnam tour, you’ll overnight in Hanoi, Sapa, Ha Long Bay, Phong Nha National Park, Hoi An, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive in Hanoi, then transfer to the beautiful mountains of Sapa for a 3-night stay. Amid the verdant rice fields, the Silver Waterfall, and the highest road in Vietnam—Heaven’s Gate, you’ll learn about local life here, the variety of ethnic cultures, and the colorful atmosphere of the weekly markets. Sightseeing tours in the cities feature the must-see historic sites, including Hanoi’s Temple of Literature, built in 1070, and One Pillar Pagoda, built in 1049; Hoi An’s Japanese Covered Bridge; Hue’s Forbidden Purple City, the emperor’s residence constructed in 1804; and Hoi An’s Thien Mu Pagoda. In Ho Chi Minh City, your sightseeing includes the War Remnants Museum and the Cu Chi region, where you'll have a chance to enter and explore the deep, narrow tunnels constructed by the Viet Cong during the war.You'll enjoy seeing some of Vietnam's gorgeous scenery and destinations via the water. Cruise on Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the world's most amazing scenery. You'll sail by islets, caves, beaches, and floating villages. In Phong Nha National Park, a boat ride on the Son River takes you to Phong Nha Cave. You'll also enjoy a cruise in Hoi An on the Thu Bon River, where you'll pass unspoiled countryside. Continue on to Cambodia to explore the rich history and culture of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, visit the Royal Palace and learn more about the Khmer Rouge regime at the Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields. In Siem Reap, explore the spectacular ruins of Angkor, including Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Angkor Thom; 10th-century Banteay Srei Temple, known for its intricate decorations; and more. Your affordable guided tour of Vietnam and Cambodia will amaze you with the lush beauty, indelible history, and welcoming people of these beautiful landscapes.
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*Book a select 2020 Avalon Waterways Mekong river cruise to receive $500 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price. Offer available on select dates in 2020 and on select cruises ONLY. Booking must be made, under deposit and discount applied between April 1 -December 16, 2019 for travel at select times in 2020. Not applicable to custom tours. Not applicable on TBA space. Combinable with Welcome Back Credit only. Applies to new bookings only and offer will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. Offer applies to participating GFOB offices only. PRMW0620
SAPAVisit the local market, Ta Van and Lao Chai villages, Silver Waterfall, and Heaven Gate; Host service during your stayHANOIVisit the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda; water puppets performanceHA LONG BAYDay cruise on the bayPHONG NHA-KE BANG NATIONAL PARKBoat ride on Son River, visit Phong Nha CaveHUEVisit the Forbidden Purple City, Imperial Tomb of Minh Mang, Thien Mu PagodaHOI ANCruise on Thu Bon River; walking tour through Hoi An Ancient TownHO CHI MINH CITYVisit the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, and Cu Chi TunnelsPHNOM PENHVisit the Royal Palace and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum; Host service during your staySIEM REAPVisit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Banteay Srai, and Ta Prohm; Host service during your stayGuides:
PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR
Sightseeing vehicle to/from and in Sapa. Private, deluxe, air-conditioned motorcoach while touring. Sightseeing vehicle in Cambodia.
19 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 3 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
HANOI, VIETNAM. Welcome to Vietnam’s capital city, an attractive, laidback city with charming French-Colonial-style buildings.
HANOI–SAPA. Today, transfer to the hill-station town of Sapa known for its mountain scenery, rice fields, and colourful ethnic minorities. This afternoon, join a walking tour of this small town and visit the LOCAL MARKET.
SAPA. Your day starts with a visit to TA VAN and LAO CHAI villages, to see the traditional way of life of the Zay and Black Hmong ethnic groups. These ethnic groups live together here under the watch of Fansipan Mountain. The Zay live a sedentary lifestyle and choose land near the valley's bottom for growing wet rice. The Hmong have historically preferred higher elevations for corn farming but recently they've started gradually moving to lower land and learning from others like the Zay. After lunch, visit the beautiful SILVER WATERFALL and ascend the highest road in Vietnam to HEAVEN GATE for stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valley. (B,L)
SAPA. This morning, visit one of the famous WEEKLY MARKETS. Here, the local ethnic minority groups wear their most beautiful costumes as they sell and trade their homemade products. The Flower Hmong group is most recognisable with their colourful dress. After a quick photo stop at the China border, visit Taphin village, home of the RED DAO people who migrated from China starting in the 12th century. The Dao women are recognisable by the bright red turban they wear and, in some cases, shaved eyebrows. Tonight, consider exploring Sapa and stop at the famous "Love Market," where local Hmong and Dao come from their villages for the chance to see one another and perhaps go on a date! (B,L)
SAPA–HANOI. Return to Hanoi today. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
HANOI. Today’s included sightseeing tour takes you to many of the city’s highlights, including the TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and gateways, and ONE PILLAR PAGODA, designed to resemble a lotus blossom. You will also see Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, Hoan Kiem Lake, and the fascinating network of alleyways and shop houses that make up the Old Quarter. This evening, enjoy a performance of Hanoi’s famed WATER PUPPETS.
HANOI-HA LONG BAY. Drive to Ha Long Bay, one of Vietnam’s favorite destinations, and board your DAY CRUISE through the stunning bay. Enjoy lunch on board as you sail through the dramatic limestone islands, then explore the Sung Sot (Surprising Cave) and visit Titov Island. (B,L)
HA LONG BAY–HANOI–PHONG NHA-KE BANG NATIONAL PARK. Return to Hanoi this morning and fly to Dong Hoi. From here, journey inland to remarkable PHONG NHA-KE BANG NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO park littered with beautiful jungles, caves, and underground rivers. Your lodging tonight is a charming farmstay at the base of park.
PHONG NHA-KE BANG NATIONAL PARK. This morning, take a BOAT RIDE on the Son River to PHONG NHA CAVE, famous for its rock formations with names like the “Lion” and the “Buddha.” The afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy the activities and serene views at your hotel. (B,L,D)
PHONG NHA-KE BANG NATIONAL PARK–HUE. Drive to Hue, stopping at the DMZ bridge en route. Upon arrival in the imperial walled city of Hue, visit the FORBIDDEN PURPLE CITY, modeled after Beijing’s famed Forbidden CIty. During your visit, you will see Thai Hoa Palace, the Halls of the Mandarins, and the Nine Dynastic Urns.
HUE–HOI AN. Begin today with a visit to pretty THIEN MU PAGODA, made up of seven tiers, each dedicated to a step assumed by Buddha to reach enlightenment. Continue up the river to the IMPERIAL TOMB OF MINH MANG, a majestic complex of courtyards, pavilions, and temples in a beautiful setting. Head south through spectacular Hai Van Pass (weather permitting) and visit the CHAM MUSEUM, then continue to the charming town of Hoi An. (B,L)
HOI AN. Start today with a CRUISE on the Thu Bon River, passing unspoiled countryside. Then, a leisurely WALKING TOUR through Hoi An Ancient Town brings you to the Japanese Covered Bridge. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
HOI AN–HO CHI MINH CITY. Enjoy your morning at leisure. This afternoon, fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest and most vibrant city, packed with timeless traditions.
HO CHI MINH CITY. Today’s sightseeing tour takes in Dong Khoi Street, the main shopping thoroughfare, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Central Post Office. Afterward, visit the REUNIFICATION PALACE and the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM, as well as the Chinese district.
HO CHI MINH CITY. CU CHI TUNNELS EXCURSION. Today, visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles long that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. See secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas, and meeting rooms. If you are feeling adventurous, you may enter and explore the deep, narrow tunnels.
HO CHI MINH CITY–PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA. Today, fly to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city.
PHNOM PENH–SIEM REAP. Today’s sightseeing tour takes in the ROYAL PALACE with its spectacular Silver Pagoda, as well as the haunting TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, a former torture and interrogation center under the Khmer Rouge. You will also visit one of the KILLING FIELDS. This afternoon, fly to Siem Reap.
SIEM REAP. Today, visit nearby ANGKOR, the ancient Khmer capital. Visit the splendid temple complex that includes ANGKOR WAT, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and ANGKOR THOM, the former fortified royal city built by King Jayavarman VII, which includes Bayon and Baphuon Temples, the Terrace of Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King. (B,L)
SIEM REAP. Today, visit the exquisite 10th-century BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva that was built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. Unlike the other temples, TA PROHM has been left relatively untouched. Surrounded by jungle, tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, and you will experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it.
SIEM REAP. Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 15 years
"Hung graduated from Hanoi National University in 1998 after studying English. He started his career in tourism shortly thereafter and has over a decade of experience leading tours through Vietnam. He possesses comprehensive knowledge of Vietnam, with interests extending to politics, history, and cultural traditions. His interest in photography and local landscapes makes him the perfect guide for snapping the ideal shot."
HA LONG BAY Ha Long Plaza Hotel (MF)
HANOI Silk Path Hotel (F)
HO CHI MINH CITY Paragon Saigon Hotel (F)
HOI AN Silk Luxury Hotel & Spa (F)
HUE Indochine Palace (MF)
PHNOM PENH Sunway Hotel (F)
PHONG NHA- KE BANG NATIONAL PARK Chay Lap Farmstay (ST)
SAPA Amazing Hotel Sapa (F)
SIEM REAP Saem Siemreap Hotel (SF)