Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand in 23 days

Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand in 23 days

Day 1 : Night flight from Mumbai to Hanoi reaching 6 am

Hotel Tirant, located in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, provided a perfect base for exploring the city’s cultural richness. Nestled amidst historical landmarks, it served as a comfortable haven. The journey commenced at 8 am, heading towards Ninh Binh at 9:30 am. A scenic 3-hour drive included a 30-minute stop at a Government emporium. The highlight was a captivating 1.5-hour bamboo boat ride exploring three caves and admiring lotus flowers. Visits to Bich Dong Pagoda, where we climbed to see mountains and encountered goats, and the ancient capital, Hoa Lu Temples, added historical depth to the day. The evening was spent strolling around the Old Quarter, enjoying a music program, and acquiring souvenirs.

Embarking on an unforgettable journey to the legendary Halong Bay, a breathtaking natural wonder spanning approximately 1,500 square kilometers, home to 1,969 karst and limestone islands that unveil a geological tapestry dating back 500 million years. These towering limestone formations, shaped by nature’s patient hand, set Halong Bay apart as a marvel unlike any other. Our adventure began with a morning pick-up, the anticipation building as our driver navigated the 2-hour drive to Halong Bay. Along the way, we made a fascinating 30-minute stop at a Government cultured Pearl unit, immersing ourselves in the unique world of pearl cultivation. Upon arriving at the cruise lounge in Halong, excitement reached its peak as we boarded the boat, ready to set sail into the enchanting waters. The small speedboat whisked us away for a 30-minute journey, leading us to the cruise anchored in the heart of the bay.

Around noon, the check-in process was seamless, and we eagerly received our cabins. A delightful multi-course seafood specialty lunch awaited us as the cruise gracefully navigated through the scenic beauty of Halong Bay. In the afternoon, a short break set the stage for thrilling activities – from mesmerizing sightseeing to invigorating swimming. One of the highlights was a bamboo boat ride that allowed us to explore Halong Bay’s islands and caves up close, providing a unique perspective on the geological wonders surrounding us. As evening descended upon the bay, the ambiance on board transformed with the cruise’s themed dinner, a culinary delight that tantalized our taste buds. The sundeck beckoned, inviting us to enjoy a leisurely drink or partake in the captivating squid fishing experience beneath the starlit sky. The night unfolded with the melodious notes of Karaoke music, creating a lively atmosphere. Throughout our journey, the cruise’s English-fluent staff added a touch of warmth and expertise, ensuring that every moment in Halong Bay was not just a voyage but a captivating experience.

The day began with Tai Chi at 6:15 am, which included moves such as flying, floating, hugging trees, pushing on sides and embracing the serene moon. After an early breakfast at 7 am, we went kayaking until 8:45 am. Brunch at 10 am preceded departure at 10:45 am. An afternoon water puppet show provided a cultural spectacle. The day concluded with transport to the airport for a flight to Hue.

Day 6: Hue City Tour Half Day – Morning : Boat ride along the Perfume River;  Visit Thien Mu Pagoda, the Imperial Citadel of Hue, Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities and Dong Ba Market.

Day 7: Hue Transfer to Hoi An, Hoi An Half-day Tour – Morning – Drive from Hue to Hoi An, a journey of about 3 hours. Afternoon, a half-day walking tour of Hoi An ; Explore old streets with ancient houses, visit attractions like the Japanese Covered Bridge and Fujian Assembly Hall, and experience the local daily life. Enjoy lantern boat ride on the river in the evening; 

Day 8: Danang Flight to Ho Chi Minh City – Morning – Transfer to Da Nang Airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Explore Ho Chi Minh city

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City Half-day Tour – Morning – Start 8:00 am – Reunification Palace, War museum – Vietnam War. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office, Book lane and a local market.

Day 10 : Mekong Delta – Cai Be and Can Tho – Morning – Drive to Mekong Delta, exploring fruit orchards, paddy fields, and tranquil villages. 

Cai Be : Boat ride in Mekong River; small boat to traverse through smaller canals; Break at a small island for some juice, fruit and local music; Visit an ancient house for traditional Vietnamese lunch – Elephant fish, crepe, rice paper rolls; Visit home industry where they make Rice paper, puffed rice, Snake and Scorpion wine. Drive to Can tho ; Can Tho : Local sightseeing in evening – Lotus bridge

Day 11: Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho; to Chau Doc – Early Morning – Cai Rang floating market, see locals and boats engaged in bustling trading activities. Drive to Chau Doc ~ 4 hours. Reach by 2 pm ; Chau Doc : Boat ride to fish farms – Each fish farm produces 2-6 tons of Basa and Tilapia per year. Basa capital of the world. Drove to pagoda and goddess of Sam mountain temple

Day 12: Chau Doc – Phnom Penh by Speed Boat – Morning – Speed boat journey to Phnom Penh ~ 6 hours; Evening – Walk around Independence memorial

Day 13: Half-day Phnom Penh City Tour – Morning : Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, National Museum, and Wat Phnom. Afternoon – To Siem Reap from Mekong Bus station ~ 6 hours. 

Day 14: Angkor Wat Complex Full-day Tour – Morning : Starting at 8:00 – Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm Temple, Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Elephant Terrace, Terrace of the Leper King, and the Royal Enclosure. 

Day 15: Siem Reap – Flight to Chiang Mai – via Bangkok. Evening – Buddha temple in Chiang mai

Day 16: Chiang Mai – Half Day Elephant Nature Park and Hill Tribe Villages & Artisans Experience – Morning – Half-day visit to Elephant Nature Park ; Walk with the staff and elephants, observe the habitat, and learn about the elephants’ history. Afternoon – Long-neck Karen village and another hill tribe with an elephant camp in the same area.

Day 17: Chiang Mai – Morning – Silver Temple at Wat Srisuphan, traditional Lanna silversmith skills. Originally built around 1500, Wat Sri Suphan is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai. Afternoon – Fly to Bangkok 

Day 18: Bangkok – The Grand Palace complex, Wat Pho – temple of Reclining Buddha, 15 m high and 46 m long; Long-tail boat ride for a trip along the Chao Phraya River. Afternoon – Visits to Wat Arun, Wat Traimit – 5.5 ton Gold Buddha, a walk in Chinatown. Concluded the day with a stroll through the flower market before returning to the hotel.

Day 19: Bangkok – Kanchanaburi Day Tour – Morning – Drive to Kanchanaburi ~3-4 hrs, visit the World War II memorial, Jeath War Museum, Cemetery, and take a train along the historic Death Railway. Continued to Kwai River Bridge and hike to Hellfire Pass.

Day 20: Bangkok – Fly to Phuket – Phuket – enjoy the beach at the resort

Day 21: Phuket – Option 1: Phi Phi Island & Khai Island by Speedboat – snorkeling, visiting Maya Bay, Loh Samah Bay, Pileh Bay, Monkey Beach, and Koh Khai. Option 2: James Bond Island Tour – swimming, kayaking

Day 22: Phuket – Fly to Bangkok – Morning – walk / swim on the beach; Flight to Bangkok. Afternoon – Sightseeing on a Tuk Tuk – Mount Buddha.

Day 23: Bangkok – Morning : Walk in the local market; Evening flight to Mumbai, reach by 11 pm.

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