Vietnam Cambodia 17 Days Itinerary

The Vietnam Cambodia 17 Days Itinerary covers all Vietnam and Cambodia major travel destinations including Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Sapa, Halong Bay, Da Nang, Hoian, Hue, Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), Can Tho, the Mekong Delta and Siem Reap, Cambodia.

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Last updated on August 10th, 2018 at 03:38 am

The Vietnam Cambodia 17 Days Itinerary covers all Vietnam and Cambodia major travel destinations including Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Sapa, Halong Bay, Da Nang, Hoian, Hue, Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), Can Tho, the Mekong Delta and Siem Reap, Cambodia. The highlight of the trip is the 6-day motorcycle tour to the north-western Vietnam is followed with sightseeing, history, cultures activities, boat cruise and sea kayaking. The vacation is concluded with a 3-day extension to Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Vietnam Cambodia 17 Days Itinerary

DAY 1: HANOI – MAI CHAU

Leaving Hanoi and breaking out of the delta plains we pass through endless limestone karst scenery as we travel south through “Perfume Pagoda” country and extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads. After a picnic lunch near Chi Ne, we visit the hot springs at Kim Boi, before striking northwest and over two passes, finally dropping down to the mountain valley settlement of Mai Chau. Here we stay overnight with friends of the White Thai minority in a traditional stilt house. In the evening, after feasting, we can enjoy a cultural show of Thai dancing and a range of special local liquors. Overnight in Mai Chau.

DAY 2: MAI CHAU – SON LA

We backtrack on the main a few kilometres before embarking on a new road which drops down the side of a huge valley, steadily falling all the way back down to the Black River Reservoir. The 50 kilometres route has plenty of challenging surface and is prone to landslides. Much of the area is inhabited by Kinh and both Black and White Thai ethnicities. Depending on time we can complete another side road which rises up the opposite side of the valley, offering impressive views over the area on a clear day. On good road looking high over distant mountains we head up into a forested region populated by H’mong people before descending into a mountainous tea-growing region. Soon after we follow a long valley floor covered in a sea of rice surrounded by Black Thai villages all the way to Son La with its bargain-filled market. Overnight in Sunrise Hotel.

DAY 3: SON LA – DIEN BIEN PHU

Continuing the road no.6 to Tuan Giao after climbing the historic Phadin Pass where dominated by the H’mong people. Many stop for picture. Arrive in Dien Bien Phu in the late of afternoon. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.

DAY 4: DIEN BIEN PHU – LAI CHAU

Take a visit of the old French battle field, we will be heading out northwest from Dien Bien Phu the road passes isolated communities of H’mong and Thai people, whose small villages settle the bans of dark green rivers and on the steep slopes of the mountains. After lunch by a forest stream the road begins to climb up one high pass. At the top for sunset before dropping sharply into the deep Lai Chau valley. Overnight in Phong Tho.

DAY 5: LAI CHAU – SAPA

If the days are right then we can visit one of three busy hill tribe markets as we head straight towards the main Fansipan Mountain range. The massive mountain range dominates the road until finally we must make a splendid climb up from Binh Lu and up to the top of the highest road pass in Vietnam (Tram Ton Pass). Crossing into Lao Cai Province at over 2000m the views looks out over the main range for miles and miles, before we descend to the mountainous Sa Pa valley. Overnight in Sapa.

DAY 6: SAPA – CAO SON – LAO CAI – HANOI

Leave Sapa for a 2,5 hours road journey to Cao Son Commune. The first 50 km to Muong Khuong town let offers beautiful landscapes of lush farm land, tea and pine plantation. Enjoy several stops along the way. Then turn to narrow and quiet country road along the Chay River for an hour with stunning valleys and terraced rice paddies of all sizes and shapes. Arrive to Cao Son market at about 10.00 am. Joining local to enjoy the excitement of this weekly market. Walk from section to sections, corner to corners, seeing and smelling of different local product, spices, vegetable, farming tools, handicraft, even medical herb…especially meeting smiling peoples every where. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant . After lunch, enjoy a walk in the afternoon to Tin Thang Village of the Flower H’mong. In this village, people still distill the wine from corn, making bacon in the most basic way and hospitably at offering special corn cake to anyone who drop by their house. Transfer back to Lao Cai Railway Station for overnight train back to Hanoi. Train ??? Departure at ??? (To be advised). Overnight on the train.

DAY 7: HANOI – HALONG BAY

Upon your arrival at Hanoi Railways Station, you will be greeted again by our team and transferred to a local restaurant for breakfast and a short rest. At 8:00: Depart for Halong bay. Enjoy the journey through the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong around noon and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Round over Thien Cung cave (palace of heaven), Dau Go ( grotto of wood ), Tuan Chau island, Dog island, Dinh Huong, Ga Choi (fighting cock mountain), Turtle island. Visit Sung Sot cave and enjoy one-hour kayaking trip or have a swim at Titop beach or Soi Sim beach. Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner. Overnight on board junk.

DAY 8: HALONG BAY CRUISE

Breakfast on board junk. Continue visiting Halong bay while the boat cruise through Man’s head island, Tortoise island. Visit Luon cave by a small bamboo rowing boat. Lunch will be provided on board. In the afternoon, visiting Ba Ham lake, fishery village,Cua Van, swimming at Ba Trai Dao beach. Enjoy one-hour kayak paddling on the emerald waters of Halong bay. Having dinner and overnight on the junk.

DAY 9: HALONG BAY – HANOI – DA NANG – HOIAN

Breakfast on board. Then we will go back to shore. Arrive at Ha long wharf at 11:00 and join our vehicle again for a 3.5hour drive back to Hanoi. Upon your arrival in Hanoi, transfer directly to Noibai airport for onward flight to Danang. Flight??? Departure at??? (to be advised). You will be greeted at Danang airport by our local team and transferred to your hotel in Hoian. Check-in hotel for overnight.

DAY 10: HOIAN ANCIENT TOWN

In the morning, visit of this charming small town, first commercial center in Vietnam since the 15th century, with more than 800 classified buildings: Japanese Covered Bridge, Tan Ky Old house, Assembly Hall Chinese. Phuc Kien Pagoda, Hoian Museum and Market. Free afternoon for your personal discovery or shopping. Overnight in Hoian.

DAY 11: HOIAN – HUE

After breakfast, leave Hoi An for Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. The scenic route passes through Danang before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and dropping down to the fishing village of Lang Co. Arrive in Hue around noon and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy a boat trip on the Perfume River to visit the beautiful Thien Mu Pagoda. After our boat trip we will visit the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City. This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. If time permits then, we will continue visiting the mausoleum of former emperor Tu Duc or Khai Dinh’s. Overnight in Hue.

DAY 12: HUE – SAIGON

Transfer to Hue airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh city. Flight ??? Departure at ??? (to be advised). You will be welcome by our local team at Tan Son Nhat airport, Ho Chi Minh city and transferred to your hotel in town. In the afternoon, enjoy a half day city tour with Ho Chi Minh City most wanted highlights such as the Post Office, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Reunification palace. Then continue towards Cholon for a quick visit of Thien Hau temple and the Binh Tay market. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.

DAY 13: SAIGON – MY THO – CAN THO

After breakfast, transfer to My Tho. Arrive in My Tho and enjoy the 3-hour boat trip to discover local people life with their daily work. Stop at a Con Lan islet to taste seasonal fruit and experience traditional music. Then continue to Con Quy islet, visit some home production chain of coconut candy, sweet honey bee farm, …take a chance walking on countryside road and exited riding. Rowing on small boat to return motorboat. Transfer to Can Tho, the city considered as the  heart of the Mekong Delta. Arrive in Can Tho about late afternoon. Check-in hotel & overnight in Can Tho.

DAY 14: CAN THO – SAIGON

Early morning, enjoy a boat trip on the Mekong River to visit Cai Rang, the famous floating market in the west of Viet Nam, along narrow narrow waterways through the lush vegetation to an orchard garden where we have the opportunity to visit local homes as well as enjoy a lunch followed with seasonal fruits. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant. Drive back Saigon.

DAY 15: SAIGON – SIEM REAP

Transfer to Ho Chi Minh city airport for onward flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Flight ??? Departure at ??? (to be advised). Upon arrival at Siem Reap airport, you will be met and welcome by our Cambodian local team then transferred to your hotel. Start your visit to South Gate of Angkor Thom, the famous Bayon, Baphoun, the Terrace of Temple, Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King. It is time to visit one of the great wonders of the world, symbol of the heart and soul of the Cambodia, Angkor Wat. Then view wonderful sunset from the top of Phnom Bakheng Hills. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 16: ANGKOR TEMPLES

In the morning, we will visit the fabulous Ta Prohm embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers, Pre Rup, East Mebon, and Neak Poan. In the afternoon, we continue our day tour visiting Krovan, Royal Bath of Srah Srang and Banteay Kdei temples. Tonight you will enjoy dinner with Khmer Apsara Dance Show. Overnight in Siem Reap.

DAY 17: DEPARTURE

We board on boat in Tonle Sap Lake, the “Great Lake” of Cambodia, one of the largest in Asia. Here, enjoy a brief cruise past floating villages complete with schools, restaurants, and hospitals. Free & leisure at your own time for rolling at local markets or shopping until transfer to Siem Reap Airport for departure. End.

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Siem Reap

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Travel style

Trip duration

Last updated on August 10th, 2018 at 03:38 am

Itinerary disclaimer

Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!

Please note that while we operate successful trips in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

Difficulty levels

Our trekking tours can be classified into three levels

Easy

There are about 8 – 10K to walk on flat roads. No previous experience is necessary. Anyone in good health and fit enough to perform an occasional hike can take an easy level trek. Vietnam easy walks are provided in Hanoi, Bac Giang, Mai Chau, Ngoc Son Ngo Luong…

Moderate

There are about 10 – 15K to hike on flat and hilly roads. At this point too, no special background is required. Hikers accustomed to trekking in hilly areas of Mai Chau, Pu Luong or Lai Chau, Yen Bai successfully accomplish our treks “moderate”, provided they are in good health and to have a correct fit. These treks are moderate or easy hikes with an average duration or shorter but more difficult steps.

Difficult

There are about 16 – 23K to trek on uphill/downhill dirty, rocky trails. Physical fitness is very important for these treks and you may have to lead you home before the trek. Most treks in this level are comparable with long rides in the Fansipan mountain or the the mountainous region of Ha Giang, Cao Bang, sometimes higher altitudes. The climate and isolation can also participate in difficulty. Prior trek experience is preferable but not vital if you have confidence in your fitness.

Inclusions

Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind Lotussia Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.

  • Car transfers
  • Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
  • Local porter(s)
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Sightseeing entrance fees.
  • Bottled water.

Exclusions

Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.

  • Visa (required)
  • Flight/Train tickets.
  • Accommodation pre/post trip.
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses

Tour Guide

Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.

Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.

When to hike

The north Vietnam experiences two distinct seasons; winter and summer. Winter is cool, dry and lasts from November to April. Temperatures range between 15 to 25°C during the day and 0 to 10°C during the night. With little rain, the winter season offers the most pleasant weather conditions for trekking in Vietnam. Read more about Vietnam weather.

Porter

During all trekking tours we may use local porters to carry your luggage as well as our trekking equipment, where required. To generate local income we employ local villagers for this task. Participants will have their own porter, carrying trekking equipment and luggage to a maximum of 15 kg per client. Travelers only have to carry their day packs. Read more how to pack

Vehicle

Depending on the nature of the tour, journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections.

Accommodation

Campsites and lodges are not common in Vietnam, instead we make use of homestays; staying the night in tribal villages along the way. Facilities are clean, but very basic. Travelers share a bamboo-slat floor, separated by curtains. Animals usually sleep under the house and restrooms and showers are often absent. Water sources are available outside. Mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets are taken care of.

Over the years Lotussia Travel has established a number of projects to upgrade home stay accommodation into a bit more comfort. Basic facilities aside, spending the night in a tribal village and enjoying a meal with the locals brings travellers unforgettable cross-cultural experiences. In the past 15 years of organizing trekking by this way, we never received a complaint.

Food

During all treks meals will be arranged on the spot, in local restaurants and at home in local villages along the way. The meals are prepared by our cooks, the local guide or by the local host. Our cooks are well trained to prepare and serve food hygienically and they cook a variety of local delicacies. Sometimes this may include the slaughter of a chicken, duck or pig. We sometimes have the chance to bring western food, and snacks from Hanoi for breakfast and picnics along the way, and coffee and tea are available in abundance. Our cooks make a special effort to provide as much variety as possible. The porters give necessary assistance on the spot.

Drinking water

There are many shops and villages that have bottled water for sale. On remote trekking tours, we buy a sufficient supply of water for the next couple of days. We recommend bringing some water purifying tablets.

Packing

Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings such as pagoda, temple, communal house and shoes should be removed before entering a private home.

What you take will naturally depend upon where you are travelling and the style of journey you are undertaking, and it can often be difficult to decide what to pack. Nevertheless, the following should act as a useful checklist of essential items worth thinking about taking.

  • 1 medium-sized backpack.
  • Comfortable walking shoes with good grip
  • 1 long (easy to dry) pants and 1 long sleeved shirt to wear during the trek (easy to dry).
  • 1 pair of flip flop (sandals).
  • 1 pair of shorts and T-shirt to wear at camp site (2 if you do 4-day trek).
  • 1 medium-sized towel.
  • 1 medium-sized dry bag.
  • Hiking poles/walking sticks
  • GPS

Responsible Tourism

We strongly believe that Responsible Tourism can support to local communities: proving incomes,positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protect natural environment. We recognize that there is always space for improvement. We continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.

Environment

We have been turning environmentally responsible tourism into practices to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re – usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and mean to help them identify and implement effective ways to positive protect local nature and communities. It is a vital criteria that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip ended.

Community

Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging customers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.

Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, motor-taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.

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Last updated on August 10th, 2018 at 03:38 am