HANOI – SAPA – HALONG BAY – HOI AN – LUANG PRABANG – SIEM REAP
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Many people have decided to get their tailor-made dresses or textile stuffs while traveling to the Indochina area. This is not because of pricing but it is all about the diverse fabric selection and custom. There are many stories that you would be told from the local people about how they carry on the traditional ways of produce the fabrics, coloring & dying. c
The capital of Ha Noi today is best known for its thriving contemporary art scene and French architecture, visible by the many colonial villas scattered throughout the city. While it is rapidly developing, the city has retained many of its cultural traditions.
Arrive in Noi Bai international airport, clear immigration procedure and meet our local guide who waiting outside of arrival terminal. Greeting then transfer to our hotel in town. Enjoy the remainder of day at leisure to recover from the long-haul flight.
Overnight in Hanoi.
After breakfast at the hotel, we head north-west of Ha Noi to Van Phuc village, an over century craft village renowned for its traditional silk weaving techniques and high-quality products. The village is home to massive banyan trees, village wells, and communal houses. Learn all about the village and people during a walk around while observing the process of making beautiful fabric paintings of Vietnamese scenes of daily life from silk scraps. Here, we visit a local workshop, located inside the heart of the village, which helps the village export silk products and is also a vocational school for disabled people in the village. Have a chat with some local artisans to see how they make beautiful fabric paintings of Vietnamese scenes of daily life from silk scraps. We conclude the visit with a hands-on demonstration of how to create our own designed pictures from leftover silk scraps under the guidance of local skillful artisans and take it home as a unique souvenir, before heading back to the town.
In the afternoon, we visit the Vietnamese Women Museum to find out about the important roles as well as the life of the Vietnamese Women. Their costume & garments as well as some fashions & crafts are also displayed in this fascinating museum.
Ha Noi's Old Quarter, known simply as the 36 Streets, is a must-see for anyone traveling to Vietnam. With a history dating back to about the 13th Century, it used to be a residential, manufacturing, and commercial center where each street was specialized in one specific type of manufacturing or commerce. Ha Noi Old Quarter now still retains its unique architecture as well as the enormous amount and diversity of products and everyday life of its residents. Messy and crazy, this walk provides you an exciting chance for a deeper encounter with local life, beyond the typical tourist programs. We explore the fascinating maze of back streets, fronted by narrow houses known as “tunnel” or “tube houses”, built to avoid taxes based on the width of their frontage onto the street, a wonderfully eclectic glimpse into Ha Noi street life. Challenge ourselves by strolling through the dark and tiny alleys that are wide enough for one medium-sized Vietnamese only. Walk around Dong Xuan Market, the biggest wholesale market in the Old Quarter where you can find all the amazing things with the reasonable cost ranging from exotic herbs, fresh fruits, and veggies, sweetly scented flowers to wooden crafts and decor. End up the walking tour at O Quan Chuong Gate, the only remaining gate of the ancient Thang Long citadel.
Heading back to our hotel. Leisure and overnight in Hanoi.
We leave Hanoi in the morning and heading straight to Sapa. With its picturesque mountain scenery and terraced rice paddies, Sapa is a great place to visit hill tribe villages and explore numerous trekking opportunities. Checking into our hotel room upon arrival. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or wander around this charming mountain town.
Note: Travel distance of Hanoi-Sapa or vice versa is roughly 335km in 5.5-6h driving (depends on the traffic's condition).
Situated 1600 meters above sea level, Sapa is the home to the most beautiful terraced rice fields and more than 30 hill tribes with its distinctive style of dress and traditional way of living.
Red Dao ethic group has been well-known for their embroidery. This morning, we participate a full-day sewing workshop and certainly our teacher today is an experienced Red Dao lady. The class is held in a Community Centre in Ta Phin village, where we will not only know about the traditional fabrics, techniques and patterns, designs but also learn to sew a small piece by ourselves. Experience this unique culture of the Red Dao is really a highlight in Sapa. There is also an opportunity to try out a traditional Red Dao herbal bath (own expense) so just let the guide know ahead of time.
Returning to the hotel, leisure and overnight in Sapa.
After breakfast, we explore to Ta Van village, set within picturesque Muong Hoa valley and also home to the Zay people, originally from China and well-known for their unique cultural costumes, being simple than other ethnic groups, less embroidered and only brightly colored bands around the neck and lapels. Our cameras should be ready during the hiking trip to snap stunning panoramic photos of endless rice fields and traditional hill tribe village where the locals are at work. Heading back to the hotel, time on our own pace.
We join the afternoon transfer back to Hanoi and reaching our hotel here in the evening. Overnight in Hanoi.
After breakfast, meet our driver and depart by road to Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. Travel through the rich farmlands of the Delta of Red river and the landscape of rice fields, water buffalo, the daily life of the Vietnamese village.
Arrive in Halong and boarding our cruise then enjoy our lunch on board. The cruise passes by many rocks and islets in many funny shapes. The cruise may stop for a while for visiting the Cave. Later on the junk move to docking area for overnight. Dinner and overnight on board
Note: Cruise itinerary is subject to change due to weather and operation conditions.
In the morning, our brunch will be served while doing further cruise to explore the beauties of the Bay before returning to the wharf. The junk continues cruising toward Ha Long port for disembarking.
Upon disembarkation, our driver is ready to transfer us toward to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang- Laos.
On arrival, you will be met by our guide and proceed 40 km further to Hoi An. Check in your hotel, leisure and overnight in Luang Prabang.
Luang Prabang town has become the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. This is the most fascinating sightseeing on the tourist trail of this “Million Elephants” country. With over thirty temples (Wats), Luang Prabang is dedicated as the main Buddhist Center of Laos.
We first visit the Royal Palace museum, was built in the early 20th Century during the French Colonial era. Designed in the French Beaux-Arts style, this museum used to be the residence of King. It was taken over by the communists in 1975. We continue visiting Wat Xiengthong which is also known as the ‘Golden Tree Monastery’. Wat Xiengthong still remained under the classic Laos’ temple architecture with the roof sweeping low to the ground. This is one of the most important monasteries in Laos. With many Laotians, Xiengthong still be the Holly Temple and they come over here for praying very often. Heading back to the hotel, free time to enjoy the hotel’s extensive facilities and rest.
In the late afternoon, we visit Wat Mai meaning “New Temple”. This is the largest and most splendidly decorated temple of Luang Prabang. The most impressive structure of Wat Mai is its five tiered roof. It’s also be known as the new monastery of the city. Taking this opportunity to join chanting with the local monks while visiting inside this temple.
In the evening, we get to a local family where we will be warmly welcomed by our host. Taking this opportunity to learn more about the locals and their daily life, before enjoying an authentic home cooked of Laos cuisine.
Today, we will be introduced Lao varied ethnic minorities and their traditional clothing, religious artefacts, lifestyle and handicraft. Hands-on in a Lao craft class and have a nice handmade souvenir.
After breakfast, we start with a visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (closed on Mondays), a private museum devoted to Lao ethnography, provides an overview of the four main ethno linguistic families (Austroasiatic, Hmong-Yao, Tai-Kadai, Sino-Tibetan) and their distribution in the country. Traditional clothing and headdresses, religious artefacts, photography and handicrafts are also on display.
Continue to an amazing workshop that located by the Mekong River for further knowledge about the Lao textiles and handicrafts. Walk through the green gardens, learn more about natural dyeing process using plants directly from home-grown garden as the Lao have done for hundreds of years, meet the experienced local weavers, have an orientation of silkworms and silk types. Colors and patterns are customizable upon on your creation. Hands-on and have interesting memories them.
The remainder of day is on our own pace. Having an iced cold drink at a riverside restaurant during the sunset is really something to consider, passing by the night bazaar in the evening is also interesting as we might find some nice local souvenirs here, or maybe just wandering around this heritage town where full of charming little streets and boutique shops are located…
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
We get up early this morning to experience the Alms Giving Ceremony which is a very unique experience that should not be missed while in Luang Prabang. Every morning during the sunrise, people line on the streets in order to offer alms to the Buddhist monks. Leaning from a legend which said that when people offer alms to the monks, their family’s member from the “other life” also could receive some. This ceremony therefore has been carrying on in Luang Prabang for many generations. We are always welcome to participate this amazing culture.
After that, we visit a local market where we can either find all local products or tasting some simple food that local people using for breakfast every day.
Transfer back to our hotel for freshen up and rest. At a good time, we will be transferring to the airport for our flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Upon arrival at Siem Reap international airport, meet our guide who is waiting for us right outside of the arrival terminal. Transferring to our hotel and checking into our hotel’s room.
Leisure and overnight in Siem Reap.
We get up early this morning, enjoy a quiet drive to Angkor Wat- one of the modern wonders of the world where offers you a stunning sunrise. Walk the paths to the temple when suddenly the entire structure appears in front of you. Observe the five majestic towers of this amazing temple against a dark blue sky. After observing the sunrise and the visit around the famous Angkor Wat Temple, we transfer back to the hotel for breakfast and enjoying a leisure morning at the hotel.
In the afternoon, we transfer to visit Golden Silk Pheach Preservation Center which is a Cambodian N.G.O established in 2002 in Siem Reap. “Golden Silk Pheach Preservation Center is one of the rare remaining fully integrated silk producers in the world. Striving to restore and to safeguard the fabulous Khmer traditional methods and techniques of silk making, Golden Silk Pheach spreads over more than 12 hectares of mulberry trees plantation and workshops. Only producing fully hand-made fabrics, dyed with natural pigments and made out of rare and almost disappearing indigenous yellow specie of silkworm, Golden Silk Pheach Preservation Center raises a growing interest among international connoisseurs.”
Leisure and overnight in Siem Reap.
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Angkor complex is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia as it contains the outstanding remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th Century.
Today, set off to encounter the beautiful temples which are considered as Angkor’s jewel. Transfer from to Ta Prohm, perhaps most popularly known as The Tomb Raider temple. Built in the late 12th and early 13th Centuries as a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII, this beautiful temple is the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings. The magnificent tree roots have merged over the centuries with the temple’s huge stone blocks, emphasizing a ‘forgotten city’ feeling.
Explore the ancient Angkor Thom, founded by King Jayavarman VII in the 12th Century and was one of the largest Khmer cities and remained the capital until the 17th Century. Get inside the reinforced city of Angkor Thom to admire the mysterious Bayon temple, crowned with the large number of serene faces sculpted on its towers. Also, take this chance to learn more about the intricate carvings of the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King.
Later, we visit the Banteay Srei temple in this afternoon. This red sand-stone temple is one of Angkor’s most significant structures as its walls are decorated with elaborate carvings which have been preserved remarkably well. They provide an excellent insight into the Angkor civilization and their beliefs. It was built in the 10th century and was dedicated to the Hindu god - Shiva. Catching the sunset moment from this temple before heading back to the hotel.
Leisure and overnight in Siem Reap.
Breakfast at the hotel and leisure. At a good time, we transfer to Siem Reap international airport for our homebound flight.----------- End of service ----------