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Best of Vietnam with Cambodia Option

Solo Travellers 45 Years & Over
Saturday 7 - Monday 23 October 2017 ex Australia

Itinerary

VIETNAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the key iconic places in Ho Chi Minh City; Binh Tay Market, Jade Emperor Pagoda, War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office.
  • Visit the Mekong Delta including the floating market of Cai Rang
  • See the Chu Chi Tunnels
  • Enjoy the charm of Hoi An, central Vietnam with a 3 night stay
  • Visit the hills in Vietnam and traditional tribes
  • Visit Hanoi’s renowned landmarks including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh House and the Temple of Literature
  • Take a ‘cyclo’ tour in the Old Quarter of Hanoi
  • The overnight cruise on Halong Bay
  • 2 and 3 night stays at many of the destinations
  • Includes two domestic flights to create a more easy-paced tourEnjoy small group touring, just for solo travellers

CAMBODIA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the largest religious monument in the world Angkor Wat
  • See the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh
  • See the Genocide Museum of Toul Sleng Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • English speaking group tour leader
  • Air-conditioned private coach

 

 

DAY 1 - SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER 2017
Arrive to Ho Chi Minh

Welcome to Vietnam!  

An airport-to-hotel transfer is provided for all passengers travelling on a group flight*. Most of the flights will arrive at the end of the day. If you’ve made your own travel arrangements, the transfer to the hotel is by your own arrangement (or you can request a private transfer with us for an additional service fee).  

Today you can spend the evening at your leisure. You will probably have met some of the other group members on the airport-to-hotel transfer, but in any case, the meeting point in the hotel lobby is nominated at 8:30pm for anyone who wants to join as a group and head out for a casual dinner (at your own expense).

Meals: no meals are included today

* to qualify for the transfer your airfare must be booked with us on the nominated group flight

Day 2 - SUNDAY 8 OCTOBER 2017
Discover Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh

Your first full day in Vietnam starts with a city discovery tour where you’ll see all the key iconic places in Ho Chi Minh City; Binh Tay Market, Jade Emperor Pagoda, War Remnants Museum , Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office.  You’ll also have some free time to make some discoveries of your own. Tonight, the group enjoys a welcome dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

DAY 3 - MONDAY 8 OCTOBER 2017
Ho Chi Minh City to Cai Be – Can Tho (Mekong Delta)

This morning we transfer to the rural district of Cai Be (3 hours away) to enjoy a scenic boat tour down the river. We’ll eat lunch at the house of a local villager during the boat tour of the Mekong Delta. Seafood meals are a focus on the local restaurant menus but tonight you may like to try the local mouse dish that features on some menus! We’ll stop to see the sights along the way before finishing the tour in Vinh Long. From here we’ll hop on the transfer to Cantho in the Mekong Delta, where we’ll stay this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4 - TUESDAY 10 OCTOBER 2017
Cantho – Ho Chi Minh City

Today we get up early to make sure you see the very best of the local trade on the Mekong Delta with a boat tour (great photo opportunities this morning) to visit the floating market of Cai Rang, and a walk around the local village of Cantho. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to lie in, you can make your own plans for the morning in Cantho (just let your tour guide know you won’t be joining the morning boat tour).  

In the afternoon, we’ll get on the transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City for the night, one of the longer days of driving.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY 11 OCTOBER 2017
Ho Chi Minh City - Chu Chi Tunnels - Hoi An

After breakfast at the hotel, we head out to see the renowned Cu Chi Tunnels, an amazing network of interconnecting tunnels that were used by the Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots.  

After your visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, there’s a packed lunch and we transfer to the airport for a short afternoon flight to Danang. From Danang we transfer to the historic town of Hoi An for the next three nights.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch (packed)

DAY 6 – THURSDAY 12 OCTOBER 2017
Hoi An Tour, Hoi An 

Start your day with a morning city walk, the best way to see the sights of historical Hoi An. The tour includes the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation Hall, the Japanese Bridge and Phung Hung House.  

In the afternoon, take a leisurely bike tour to get know the city further afield as you pedal through the countryside. Or, if you prefer, you can take some free time to do some shopping, have some clothes tailored or soak up the atmosphere of Hoi An.  

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7 - FRIDAY 13 OCTOBER 2017
Hoi An

Ever wondered or wanted to know how the Vietnamese cook up such delicious food? Well, today you get the answers at our special group cooking class at a great cooking school in Hoi An. You’ll learn how to make some key dishes as well as become familiar with the key ingredients that the Vietnamese use in their cooking. For lunch, you’ll enjoy the cooking creations you made at the cooking school.  

In the afternoon, enjoy some leisure time. Relax by the resort pool, wander around Hoi An or visit the local beach.  

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

DAY 8 - SATURDAY 14 OCTOBER 2017
From Hoi An to Hue 

Today we transfer by road, from Hoi An to Hue via the Marble Mountains – a cluster of five marble and limestone hills – and Hai Van Pass, some of the most scenic countryside in Vietnam. We stop for lunch en route at a local restaurant.  In Hue, there’s a city tour of The Citadel.

Tonight, there’s a group dinner where we’ll dine on the authentic cuisine of central Vietnam.  

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9 - SUNDAY 15 OCTOBER 2017
The Perfume River, Hue

The day begins with a boat tour on the Perfume River – named so because of the abundance of floral orchards lining it – to the royal tombs area. In the afternoon, we take you on a two-hour cycling tour, which is a highlight because you can roam into the countryside around Hue to and really get amongst the local village life. If cycling’s not your cup of tea, you can always choose to do your own thing around town.  Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 10 - MONDAY 16 OCTOBER 2017
Hue – Hanoi - Overnight Train to Sapa

We start today with a short, morning flight to Hanoi with Vietnam Airlines. In Hanoi, there’s a city discovery tour. The tour visits some of Hanoi’s renowned landmarks including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (the outside only), Ho Chi Minh House and the Temple of Literature. There’s also a bit of fun on a ‘cyclo’ tour in the Old Quarter. The Old Quarter is a legacy of Hanoi’s ancient past, which has a history that spans over 2000 years and is known as the ‘eternal soul of the city.’

This evening you’ll take the night train to Lao Cai on a sleeper train ^. Before boarding, we’ll have a group dinner and you’ll have some time to purchase snacks and drinks for the train journey. We have sleeper berths for the train journey which make the overnight trip more comfortable. The spirit of adventure is best adopted for the train journey as we arrive to our destination early morning.

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

TIP: Have a small travel bag/day pack available that you can use for the visit to Sapa. Large bags will be stored at the hotel in Hanoi as it is not possible to travel with your main luggage bag on the train. 

^ About the train; it’s not a luxury train. There are 4 beds per berth and our group may be sharing with the general public. The toilet is shared for the carriage. 

DAY 11 - TUESDAY 17 OCTOBER 2017
Sapa

It’s a very early arrival to the train station as all trains, arrive around dawn or even a bit earlier. To start your experience, there’s an excursion to the weekly Coc Ly market to experience local market shopping, where you’ll notice plenty of sights and aromas. Needless to say, it’s a very different experience to our supermarkets at home! Then we’ll have a boat tour before we transfer over to Sapa (weather permitting).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 12 - WEDNESDAY 18 OCTOBER 2017
Silver Waterfall, Sapa

Today we go on an excursion to Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall), 5km north of Sapa. It’s a dramatic waterfall reaching an impressive 100 metres high. The rest of the day is at your own leisure, which might be the perfect chance to make some discoveries of your own in this beautiful highland village.  

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 13 – THURSDAY 19 OCTOBER 2017
Ta Phin, Sapa – Hanoi 

Today we have an excursion to Ta Phin village, outside of Sapa. Ta Phin is a picturesque drive North of Sapa, set within a valley with a towering mountain peak at one end. It’s alive with the daily life of the Kinh, Red Dao and Black Hmong people.  

Later today we make our way back to Hanoi by road.

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 14 - FRIDAY 20 OCTOBER 2017
Hanoi - Huong Hai Junk Cruise, Halong Bay

This morning we make our way from Hanoi to Halong Bay for an overnight cruise of this stunning bay – a major highlight of your Vietnam tour! Halong Bay is a world heritage site and includes some 1600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. It really is a breath-taking scene. Make sure you pack your swimwear for this one.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Luggage Note:
Have a small travel bag/day pack available that you can use for the overnight stay on board the junk.  

Note for single room bookings:
A single cabin cannot be guaranteed on the overnight boat tour on Halong Bay and you may be required to share with another person (of the same gender).

DAY 15 - SATURDAY 21 OCTOBER 2017
Return to Hanoi

We continue the cruise in the morning before transferring to Hanoi in the afternoon. This evening there’s a grand farewell dinner.  

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16 - SUNDAY 22 OCTOBER 2017
Our Final Day, Depart Hanoi

We have come to the final day of your tour! You’ll have some time today at your leisure to soak up your last hours in Vietnam, before departing from the hotel to the airport for your return home.

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 17 – MONDAY 23 OCTOBER 2017
Return home

The nominated group flight returns home to Australia this morning.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION:
HIGHLIGHTS OF CAMBODIA

DAY 16 – SUNDAY 22 OCTOBER 2017
Arrival Day/Siem Reap

Today you depart from Hanoi and travel on a regional flight from Vietnam to Cambodia to arrive to Siem Reap. On arrival in Siem Reap you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel.

Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel.

Meals: Dinner

DAY 17 – MONDAY 23 OCTOBER 2017
Angor Wat/Siem Reap

After breakfast at your hotel, today you are in for a real treat as you visit an amazing wonder of the world, Angkor Wat. The largest religious monument in the world, dating back to 1125, Angkor Wat is unrivalled in its beauty and state of preservation – a truly memorable experience.

Another must-see is Ta Prohm, which is in almost the same distinctive condition in which it was discovered. Time permitting, the afternoon excursion will also include Banteay Samré. This 12th century Hindu temple was built next to the Eastern Baray (artificial water reservoir, now dry) which was key to Angkor’s power.

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 18 – TUESDAY 24 OCTOBER 2017
Angkor Thom - Siem Reap -  Battambang

After merely wetting your taste buds to the many wonders of Angkor yesterday, today we visit a couple more temples and ruins in Angkor, including the Bayon, the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King, Phimeanakas and Baphuon - all forming part of Angkor Thom.

In the afternoon we will travel to Battambang.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 19 – WEDNESDAY 25 OCTOBER 2017
Battambang

Battambang is a small, leisurely city in Cambodia’s vast countryside. The surroundings are best visited by local tuk-tuk. During this trip we will see numerous temples, workshops and great landscapes. You will also experience the unique bamboo train, a ride to remember!

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 20 – THURSDAY 26 OCTOBER 2017
Battambang to Phnom Penh

After breakfast, we start our journey to Phnom Penh where you will be able to see some of the locals living their daily lives. Your guide will tell you some stories about local life along the way. At Kampong Chhnang there is a short boat tour. Closer to Phnom Penh we will visit the former capital of Oudong, a small hill offering fine views.

Arrival to Phnom Penh will be late in the afternoon.

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 21 – FRIDAY 27 OCTOBER 2017
Phnom Penh

There is a city tour of Phnom Penh, including the Royal Palace where the Kings of Cambodia have occupied, since it was built in the 1860's. You will also visit the Silver Pagoda, National Museum, Genocide Museum of Toul Sleng and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Visiting Choeung Ek is a sombre experience and the harsh reality that it is a mass grave where over a million people were executed and buried by the vicious Khmer Rouge regime.  

Time permitting, you will visit the Central Market where you can buy just about anything you can think of for ‘cheap as chips prices,’ including electronic equipment, clothing, watches, bags, suitcases, dried and fresh foodstuff, jewellery, clothes; from cheap T-shirts to woven Khmer scarves, pseudo-antiques and books.

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 22 – SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER 2017
Departure Day

This morning you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast to reflect on your time in Cambodia before being transferred to the airport at Phnom Penh for your return flight home.

Meals:  Breakfast 

DAY 23 – SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER 2017
Return to Australia

Your flight from Cambodia arrives this morning

Meals:  N/A 

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Encounter Travel
ATAS Accreditation No: A10439

Encounter Travel provides holidays for solo travellers. Since 2006 we've been creating tour, cruise and resort packages for solo travellers that like to share their travel experiences. Visiting destinations across Australia and around the globe our holidays include short tropical escapes, leisurely touring, cruises and active walking trips.   


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