Cover the highlights of North Vietnam and Cambodia with this exclusively crafted cross border itinerary. Embark on an exciting train ride to the Tonkinese alps of Sapa. Trek through spectacular scenery of rolling hills and lush meadows dotted with hill tribe villagers and rice terraces. Experience an authentic homestay and savor simple but delicious ethnic minority cuisine. Soothe your aching muscles in a refreshing herbal bath. Enjoy a relaxing cruise through thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. Unleash the Indiana Jones within you with an exploration of the UNESCO site of Angkor Wat.
SINGAPORE – HANOI – SAPA
Upon arrival at Hanoi international airport, you will be picked up by our friendly Vietnamese driver to our office at Hanoi Old Quarter for the Sapa trek briefing. Free and easy at your own leisure in Hanoi Old Quarter. In the evening you will be transferred to the train station for your overnight train to Lao Cai (train departs at 10pm; approx. 8-9 hrs.).
Overnight: Train (Sleeping Berth)
SAPA – TROM TON PASS – LOVE WATERFALL – BAN KHOANG – TA PHIN
(4-5 hrs. trekking; L, D)
Upon arrival at Lao Cai train Station in the morning, you will be picked up by our friendly guide to a local cafe in Sapa for breakfast (approx. 1 hr. drive). After breakfast, you will be transferred to the 1900m high Trom Ton Pass (approx. 30 min drive) – the highest mountain pass in Vietnam. The pass is aptly named Heaven Gate and is the best place to take in the magnificent view of the Tonkinese Alps. You will trek for an hour through beautiful bamboo forest to the 100m high Love Waterfall with crystal clear waters that originates from the peak of Fanispan. Thereafter, you will be transferred by vehicle to Ban Khoang (approx. 1 hr. drive) where you will start the trek through gentle rolling hills and terraced fields to visit the villages of the Red Dzao and Black Hmong tribes. Picnic lunch will be served during the trek. Today’s trek will end at the picturesque Red Dzao village of Ta Phin where you can try out some specialty cuisine like Ruou thoc (Red Dao’s wine), Banh Chung Den (Black Chung Cake), corn cake, colored sticky rice etc. End your day with an authentic traditional herbal bath to sooth your aching muscle.
TA PHIN – MONG SEN – TACKO – SAPA – HANOI
(3-4 hrs. trekking; B, L)
After enjoying your breakfast amid a tranquil environs, you will follow the unbeaten trail to the picturesque village of Mong Sen where you can observe traditional farming lifestyles of the villagers. Look out for the free roaming domestic animals like water buffaloes, pigs, ducks and chicken that might criss-cross your path. Rest and relax by the bank of a beautiful stream in the jungle before proceeding to Tacko where the vehicle will be waiting for you to fetch you back to Sapa for lunch (shower facilities are available at our Sapa office). In the late afternoon, you will be transferred to the bus terminal to catch your coach to Hanoi.
HALONG BAY DAY CRUISE (B, L)
800 -830am – Pick up at your hotel and depart for Ha Long City. (Please have your breakfast before the pick-up.)
1200pm – Arrive in Tuan Chau Marina Pier (Tuan Chau Island) where you will be transferred by a small boat to the cruise ship. Welcome drink will be served along with cruise briefing and safety instructions.
1230pm – Enjoy a relaxing 5 hours cruise in Ha Long Bay passing by Dinh Huong Island, Dog Island, Ga Choi Island, fishing villages, etc. Sumptuous lunch will be served while cruising pass magnificent landscape of limestone cliffs and sea caves. Visit one of the most beautiful caves in Halong bay “Thien Cung and Dau Go Grotto”. You can also do some kayaking at the bay.
0530pm – Transfer back to your hotel in Hanoi via mini-van. Along the way, you will stop in Hai Duong Province to visit a ceramic workshop (no forced shopping).
0830pm – Arrival at Hanoi.
HANOI – SIEM REAP (B)
Today you will spend a few hours to explore the fascinating city of Hanoi. Start off the tour with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Complex which features the extraordinary and tumultuous life of Ho Chi Minh – father of modern Vietnam. At the complex, visit the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum where the great founder’s body is preserved (closed on Mon and Fri), the Presidential Palace – originally the residence of the Governor-General of French, the rustic Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House where Ho Chi Minh used to lived and worked and the One Pillar Pagoda. Continue on to the Temple of Literature – built in 1070 as a place to worship Confucius, it subsequently became Vietnam’s first university. Thereafter, you will tour around the vibrant Old Quarter with its 36 streets which were interestingly named after the type of goods or service they were originally known for and Hoan Kiem Lake which represents the eternal soul of the city.
In the late afternoon or evening, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival at Siem Reap international airport, you will be picked up by our friendly Vietnamese guide to your hotel in Siem Reap city.
ANGKOR WAT (B)
Rise early in the morning at 4am to catch the stunning sunrise view of Angkor Wat silhouetted against the skyline. Watch in awe as the sun’s rays slowly illuminates the ancient temple complex and casts a perfect reflection on the lotus pool in front of it. After enjoying the majestic scene, you will continue on to Angkor Thom – the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. Within the walled enclosure are some of the city’s most important monuments including Bayon, Baphuon, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas and the Terrace of Elephants. Thereafter you will proceed to Ta Promh, an iconic temple that signifies the battle between nature and architecture; the temple building is wrapped around by the roots and branches of a giant kapok tree. Remember to check out the controversial Dinosaur of Ta Prohm at a corner of the temple with a strange story of its own. In the afternoon, you will return back to Angkor Wat to admire the finely worked bas-reliefs along its corridors. The late afternoon sun offers the best lighting conditions to view these exquisite details. A memorable way to conclude the day is to climb up the temple mountain of Phnom Bakheng for a beautiful sunset over Angkor Wat and its surrounding vista.
PHNOM KULEN NATIONAL PARK (B)
In the early morning you will attend a guided tour at the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (http://www.accb-cambodia.org/), a non-profit organization committed to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing threatened wildlife back to the Cambodian forests. Some of the protected animals include pangolin, pileated gibbon, silvered langur, slow loris, civet cat, leopard cat, several turtle and tortoise species and a variety of bird species. Learn about the Center work effort in wildlife conservation, species recovery, environmental resources management etc. In the late morning, you will embark for an Indiana Jones adventure through the jungles of Phnom Kulen National Park (aka “Mountain of the Lychees”). Up amid the hills lies one of the most elaborate and intriguing of all Angkor ruins – Kbal Spean (aka The River of a Thousand Lingas) – which consists of a series of thousand year old reliefs etched into the river beds and banks. Thereafter you will visit the beautiful Phnom Kulen Waterfalls to cool off. Depending on the season, the first waterfall is 4-6 meters tall and 15-20 meters wide while the second waterfall is 15-20 meters long and 8-10 meters wide. It is possible to swim in the plunge pool and enjoy a nature Jacuzzi from the falling water. Before dinner time, go for a relaxing spa or body massage to soothe you aching muscle.
SIEM REAP – SINGAPORE (B)
Rest and relax at your own leisure till airport transfer for your flight home.
- All land transport including airport transfers in Vietnam and Cambodia
- One way train ticket from Hanoi to Lao Cai (4 sleepers berth)
- One way bus ticket from Lao Cai to Hanoi
- English speaking guides in Vietnam and Cambodia
- All hotel accommodations in Vietnam and Cambodia
- All trekking arrangement (English speaking guide, homestay, meals, drinking water, entrance fees to villages, herbal bath)
- All meals indicated in above itinerary
- One day Halong Bay Cruise
- Entrance fees to places of interest for Day 05 tour in Hanoi City
- One Day Angkor Archaeological Park Pass
- Entrance fee to Phnom Kulen National Park
- Return international air ticket
- Travel insurance
- Vietnamese VISA and Cambodian VISA (ASEAN citizens are VISA-free up to 30 days)
- All meals not indicated
- Donation to Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (~USD3 per pax)
- Tips for guides and drivers
- All expenses of a personal nature
Best Season to Visit: During the dry months from March, April, May, September and October
Temperature: It can get very cold during the winter months. Warm clothing are necessary.
DESTINATION YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN
Our adventure through bustling Hanoi, breathtaking (figuratively & literally) Sapa and unbelievably stunning Halong Bay was an absolute blast. iwannatravel could not have arranged it any better. This was all done up in two days as we made a very last minute decision to fly out to Vietnam instead of our original plan (Surabaya, Indonesia). Despite the last minute change, iwannatravel went the extra mile to ensure that our Vietnam adventure well planned. Through the entire trip, iwannatravel also touched base with us to ensure that we were doing ok. If you are looking for hassle-free and fun-filled adventure, look no further already!
– Shawn & Tricia on a 5D4N trip to Sapa & Halong Bay in Oct 2016
I liked how fast HS was able to plan the itinerary for our group, making it flexible to suit our preferences and how he was very prompt to answer our questions and give suggestions on things that we can do. We only ask assistance for bookings on our Vietnam trip (Mt. Fansipan trek, Lao Cai- Hanoi train tickets and Halong Bay Day Cruise). However, upon knowing that we are also traveling to Laos, HS has gone an extra mile and help us map out our Laos itinerary too. Transport provided both for Fansipan trek and Halong Bay Day Cruise were awesome as they picked us up from our hostel right on time. Our Fansipan guide was very helpful and patient and ensured everyone’s safety during the trek. While our Halong Bay Cruise guide was quite informative and very entertaining as she makes us laugh without even trying. Our group was very much satisfied with the food served to us both during the Fansipan trek and Halong Bay cruise. And of course, we definitely enjoyed all the activities we did: trekking up to the summit of Fansipan, riding a sleeper train from Lao Cai to Hanoi and kayaking in Halong Bay. Organization of our trip is superb knowing that we were IWT’s first customers to book for their Fansipan trek and Halong Bay Cruise trip. *^_^*
– Michelle (Group of 3 on a 4D3N trip to Mount Fansipan & Halong Bay in Mar 2016)
The whole organisation was prepared smoothly prior to the trip. The ample of times attending to the enquiries and the notes given had definitely been useful. For transport, guide (and driver), food, activities, accommodation - they were pleasant. The van provided was spacious especially the legroom, and even had enough room to store our bag packs. The guide and driver were very accommodative, for an instance, stopping the van to allow us take some photos before proceeding to the trail head. Additionally, both tried their best to attempt to make conversations in English. As per food and activities, it was great. The food complimented the next activity well, an example, we were provided rice instead of noodles on the day before our summit push and back to the trail head. It was essential since we had to have plenty carbohydrates for the long trek ahead.
– SR (Group of 5 on a 2D2N Xueshan trip in Oct 2017)
First, we would like to thank hs for coming up with the itinerary of the places that we wanted to visit and always being prompt and patient in answering our queries. This trip turned out to be one of the best trips ever! Our guide, Bayu, was simply wonderful. He speaks good English and we enjoyed our conversations with him. During the hike, he frequently stopped to ask if we were okay and if we needed a rest. He would also ask if we had any other places in mind that we would like to visit around the vicinity. In all, we felt very well-taken of throughout the entire trip. Our fondest memory was the day when we had cup noodles around a campfire together with him during the early hours of dawn at King Kong Hill. It was truly unforgettable. Bayu also offered to help us take photos during the trip and we were really thankful for that. Our driver, Bayu (same name as our guide) had superb driving skills. We were really amazed at how he was able to navigate and drive through narrow and winding roads under foggy weather conditions. Throughout the trip, both of them made us feel very safe and comfortable. We did not have to worry about anything. It was really such an enjoyable trip. A big thank you to our guide, Bayu, and our driver, Bayu! 🙂
– Eunice (Group of 2 on an 5D4N Ijen, Mt Bromo, Batu in June 2017)
We always have a wish that to have a wonderful trip with a lot of fun and laugh, and so we stop dreaming and start planning. No doubt IWT is our best choice with no regretted. First of all, we wanna thank you to our tour guide Ms Vinda, a young lady with always have a cute smiling. She is very friendly, knowledgeable, understanding and patience lady. She care a lot of us, and make sure we are not injure while hiking, but manage to reach to the top. Due to some of my friends is lack of exercise and felt exhausted, especially Ijen and Mt Bromo, she keep accompanied us and make sure 4 of us are in good condition to continue. She keep reminding us some sleepy area, and hold our hand if needed to ensure we are not fell down. She also giving us a lot of info about some interest places were going and we'll communication. She always standby to be our photographer, even some time our pose is funny. She willing to share her photos and videos with us. Thanks ya. And most importantly that she notice 1 of my friend didn't wear a suitable shoe to waterfall, she immediately take off her shoe and let my friend to wear, and help to carry my friend shoe and walk with no shoe herself...so embarrassing. She treat us ginger tea while we feel cold, Indomee after hiking and dragon fruit along the way to Surabaya. Bring us to minimart to buy our secret stuff. Lastly, we should say that~Ms Vinda, thank you so much. We are enjoyable the trip and this is really amazing. We highly recommend her as a tour guide and wish her all the best. Thumb up 👍
– May (Group of 4 on a 4D3N Ijen Crater, Mount Bromo & Batu in May 2017)
Guide Syami was amazing! Very patient and extremely helpful towards my parents (55 and 50 year old folks) . His guidance really helped my parents with their hike. Shared his knowledge on the mountain and the wildlife there. Perfect.
– Farhana (Group of 6 on an 2D1N Mt Ophir Camping Trip in Apr 2017)
Very nice group, glad I made some good friends. Thanks to the organisers who took us for dinner near a vegetarian friendly place.
– Rajan (Group of 12 on an Open Mt Ophir Trip in Mar 2017)
Coordination with IWT was a breeze. Ying was quick in responding to queries and very helpful, giving tips according to her own experience climbing Pelapah Falls. Prasanth, the driver, was on-time, friendly and skillful. Despite the hours of driving and waiting for us, he always wore a smile on his face. Nan, our guide, was very experienced. He was like a fatherly figure who knew exactly what he was doing and that brought a lot of assurance to us. Pelapah Falls has its challenges but it was such a good experience for my friends and I. We had to tread through cooling rivers, climb using ropes, avoid giant ants and manage a few leeches but the amazing and therapeutic waterfalls made it all worth it. All of us were counted as beginner hikers and we all made it. So don't worry. Just do it!
– Xiuqing (Group of 5 on a Pelepah Falls & Kota Tinggi Trip in Feb 2017)
Everything was great! From planning til the end of the trip, everything was organised. The activities were fun and itinerary was well planned. We did not feel that we were rushed at all and we get to enjoy Borobudur and Mount Bromo in our own pace. Our guide, Bayu, was very friendly and helped us a lot especially when it comes to ordering food :). This is the most relaxing, hassle-free trip I've ever had! Thanks Iwannatravel 🙂
– Sunshine (Group of 7 on a 4D3N trip to Bromo & Borobudur in Aug 2016)
I really enjoy the whole travel experience. The driver is always contactable and prompt, and transport it’s quite comfortable. The mountain guide is friendly, and is knowledgeable and ensures that the last person is not left behind, and there are 2 guides provided to us for a group of 10 which I think is quite good. The accommodation at Melaka is quite clean and it’s within the tourist attraction; Jonker Street and there’s also some free and easy time to explore with driver provided.
– Xian Ying (Group of 10 on a 2D1N trip to Mt Ophir in May 2016)
I liked how fast HS was able to plan the itinerary for our group, making it flexible to suit our preferences and how he was very prompt to answer our questions and give suggestions on things that we can do. We only ask assistance for bookings on our Vietnam trip (Mt. Fansipan trek, Lao Cai- Hanoi train tickets and Halong Bay Day Cruise). However, upon knowing that we are also traveling to Laos, HS has gone an extra mile and help us map out our Laos itinerary too. Transport provided both for Fansipan trek and Halong Bay Day Cruise were awesome as they picked us up from our hostel right on time. Our Fansipan guide was very helpful and patient and ensured everyone's safety during the trek. While our Halong Bay Cruise guide was quite informative and very entertaining as she makes us laugh without even trying. Our group was very much satisfied with the food served to us both during the Fansipan trek and Halong Bay cruise. And of course, we definitely enjoyed all the activities we did: trekking up to the summit of Fansipan, riding a sleeper train from Lao Cai to Hanoi and kayaking in Halong Bay. Organization of our trip is superb knowing that we were IWT's first customers to book for their Fansipan trek and Halong Bay Cruise trip. *^_^*
– Michelle (Group of 3 on a 4D3N trip to Mt Fansipan & Halong Bay in Apr 2016)
Read more at testimonials!
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