08JAN, DAY 1 HANOI – ARRIVAL (D)
Pick up at airport and transfer to our hotel for check in (check in time 14.00) All customers arriving at Hanoi Airport, International Arrival Hall (T2) are advised to walk outside and proceed to Pilar 15, where Asian Trails’s guide/driver will be waiting with signboard.
Day is at leisure and Dinner at local Restaurant
Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi
09JAN, DAY 2 HANOI (B/L/D)
Breakfast at hotel
We will begin our full day sightseeing with a visit to the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, his former residence. Continue to the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature and the History Museum. Enjoy some free time to walk around the colorful streets of the Old quarter followed by Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon continue our sightseeing tour which will include visiting the Fine Arts Museum. And then take a 1h cyclo tour and stops at the romantic Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ngoc Son Temple.
Then followed by a performance of the Lang Toi Show – a live Vietnamese cultural shows with sophisticated lighting and mesmerizing live music played from 20 traditional Vietnamese instruments! Daily life work tools are personalized and highlighted in these productions, and are incorporated with some truly heart-stopping feats and wonderfully choreographed snapshots of rural and urban life. Best of all, there is a real appreciation of both old and new Vietnam that is beautifully expressed on the stage. Seize the opportunity to sit back and be thoroughly captivated, letting an hour fly by unheeded as your senses are taken on a visual, aural and inspiring journey. The evening would not complete without passing on to table at a Vietnamese contemporary dining room. Typical Vietnamese dishes from Mother’s kitchen have been taken into next height with innovative fusion techniques and presentation. A feast of sights and tastes!
Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi
10JAN, DAY 3 HANOI – HA LONG BAY (B/L/D)
Breakfast at Hotel
Transfer 130 km east to Halong by new highway (approx. 2.5- hour driving. Arrive in Ha Long – where upon arrival you will board the junk « Indochina Sails ». After check-in join your fellow passengers for a delightful sea food lunch as you start sailing.
Cruise in Halong bay visiting some islands and caves. Go kayaking (optional) around some nice beaches if weather permits.
Late afternoon, admire the sunset over the bay, enjoy happy hour on the bar deck or attend a cooking demonstration.
Dinner and overnight on board.
11JAN, DAY 4 HALONG BAY (B/L/D)
Start the day with a Taichi class on the sundeck.
A full day at leisure to explore further the mystic bays. Enjoy kayaking, swimming, or just relaxing on
board. Dinner and overnight on board.
12JAN, DAY 5 HALONG BAY – HANOI – HO CHI MINH (B/-/D)
Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck.
Continue cruising the bay, visiting some other highlights. Have a late breakfast before disembarkation. Return to Halong wharf, disembark and transfer back to Hanoi.
Drive back to Hanoi in time to catch domestic flights by VN 257 -16.30-18.45 to Ho Chi Minh
Lunch on own account
Transfer from the airport to the downtown for a short photo stop around Saigon Center Post Office, Opera House (Note: Notre Dame Cathedral is now under renovation )
Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at hotel
13JAN, DAY 6 HO CHI MINH CITY – MY THO – EMBARKATION – SET SAIL (B, L, D)
Breakfast at hotel
Meet at the Sofitel Plaza hotel in Saigon at 9 am for the 2 hour transfer to My Tho, located 70 kilometers away. The transfer includes a stop at the Cholon Market and a visit to a lacquer factory. On arrival in My Tho board the RV PRESTIGE II. Lunch on board. Set sail in the afternoon. An info meeting will precede a welcome Dinner followed by a Music Show.
14JAN, DAY 7: CRUISE CAI BE – SA DEC (B, L, D)
Arrival at Cai Be in the morning. After breakfast we take a morning junk trip around Cai Be to visit a floating market and go ashore to see the French Gothic Cathedral. Take a stroll along the river bank and visit a local manufacturer producing rice paper and coconut sweets. Return to the ship for lunch. Cruise past Vinh Long to arrive at Sa Dec for an afternoon walk. The Famous French writer Marguerite Duras spent part of her childhood in Sa Dec, a sprawling busy town on the Mekong Delta. Both the school where Duras’ mother taught, the small house behind it where the family lived and the “Chinaman’s House” featured in her famous novel “The Lover”, also made into a movie, still stand. Night navigation through the Delta
15JAN, DAY 8: CRUISE TAN CHAU- BORDER CROSSING (B, L, D)
Arrival in the early morning at Tan Chau, a remote town on the main Mekong River. After breakfast, transfer to small boats to visit the village where you will see a local workshop producing woven mats, and a silk weaving workshop. A rickshaw ride round the town takes you back to the ship for lunch. Depart for the Cambodian border. An evening cruise along the broad Mekong River to Phnom Penh.
16JAN, DAY 9: CRUISE PHNOM PENH (B, L, D)
Arrive to Phnom Penh in the morning. The capital city of Cambodia still retains its old French colonial architecture in its riverside streets. Your full day of sightseeing will include the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. Lunch on board. The afternoon is reserved for an excursion to the former High School « S21 », converted to a detention center under the Red Khmer’s rule between 1975 and 1979, ollowed by a visit to Wat Phnom after which the city was named. Dinner on board will be followed by a traditional Khmer Apsara Dancing Show!
17JAN, DAY 10: CRUISE CHONG KOH- PHNOM PENH (B, L, D)
Early morning sailing from Phnom Penh to Chong Koh or Oknathey (both located on Silk Island) Visit this silk weaving village on a morning walk a visit a local work shop. This excursion includes a visit to a pagoda and a local primary school (when in session). Afterwards, enjoy the passing vistas as we cruise past the Mekong’s timeless villages and river life. Return to Phnom Penh in the afternoon. The balance of the day it at leisure to explore Phnom Penh’s vibrant nightlife and maybe take a fun tuk-tuk ride along the popular waterfront promenade.
18JAN, DAY 11: CRUISE ANGKOR BAN (B, L, D)
Morning navigation on the Upper Mekong. Arrival at Angkor Ban in the morning. Overlooking the River Mekong, Angkor Ban offers a peaceful and majestic image of the river bathed in morning light in this still pristine area. Angkor Ban is one of the very few villages that was not burned or destroyed during the Khmer Rouge period. It is an authentic view of an intimate Cambodia where most of the village houses are built on stilts, some of which are more than a century old. Back on board, sail on!
19JAN, DAY 12: CRUISE WAT HANCHEY – KAMPONG CHAM (B, L, D)
Stop at Wat Hanchey in the morning and after breakfast, visit the pre-Angkorian temple located on top of a hill overlooking the Mekong. Dating back to the 8th century, its ancient brick structures characterize the architecture of the Chenla Empire, which preceded the glory of Angkor. Back on board for lunch.
Continued navigation and arrival at Kampong Cham during lunch. In the afternoon, departure by bus to discover the temple of Wat Nokor. This twelfth century Buddhist temple built on the ruins of an ancient temple, is unique in Cambodia. Tonight enjoy the Captain’s farewell dinner!
20JAN, DAY 13: END CRUISE – DISEMBARKATION – SIEM REAP (B, L, -)
Early morning, disembarkation and transfer via air conditioned motor coach (5h) to Siem Reap. Along the way, stop at the Kampong Kdei Bridge dating from the Angkorian period, built during the reign of Jayavarman VII. Arrive Siem Reap around 13:30, transfer to your hotel for a light lunch and check-in. Rest of the afternoon at leisure and dinner on your own.
21JAN, DAY 14: SIEM REAP – ANGKOR TEMPLES (B, L, D)
Breakfast at hotel. Your 1st half day morning portion of the temple tour will take you to explore the South Gates of Angkor Thom, Bayan temple, Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Lunch at Chanrey Tree Restaurant. Continue on a half day city sightseeing tour of this bustling resort town. Your tour will include a visit to the famous Artist d’Angkor, a museum, exhibition center and a working production facility where local talented artists produce some of the finest silk and hand carved art in all of Cambodia. Tonight enjoy dinner with a traditional Apsara show at local restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
22JAN, DAY 15: SIEM REAP – Overnight (B, L , D)
Breakfast at hotel. The morning is devoted to an in-depth exploration of the main temples of the fascinating “Lost City of Angkor”, today a UNESCO Heritage sight. Return to the hotel for lunch and some down time. In the early evening depart for the old town for a “Pub Crawl” which will include free time to explore the bustling Night Market and dinner at the Champey restaurant. Return to your hotel after dinner or if staying longer via the local tuk-tuk by your own account. Accommodation at the hotel.
23JAN, DAY 16: RETURN FLIGHT TO USA (B)
Depending on your flight arrangements, fly out of Siem Reap or your Asian Gateway and arrive to the USA today
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