VIETNAM & CAMBODIA
Days 1-2, Monday - Tuesday Home - Hanoi
We’ll meet our guide in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. On the way to our hotel we'll enjoy a panoramic tour of the city. Dinner & overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3, Wednesday Halong Bay
This morning we’ll leave Hanoi and drive along the Red River toward Halong Bay – according to the locals this is where “the dragon descended into the sea.” A beautiful bay, considered one of the natural wonders of the world. Its still waters are dotted with small islands from where lofty rocks rise out of the water creating a unique and unusual waterscape. We’ll take a relaxing cruise on the bay from where we’ll enjoy a water level view of the lifestyle of the local fishermen. Lunch will be served on board. After the cruise we’ll return to our hotel.
Day 4, Thursday Hanoi
This morning we'll return to Hanoi for a day tour of the city. We'll visit the ancient quarter, west of the Chuong Dong Bridge and along Huan Kiem Lake, which is the exciting focus of the city, with its narrow streets, lined with the artisans and traders who populate the many stores here. We'll meander about and be amazed. The mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh is one of the most important sites in Hanoi, and indicative of the personality cult that is prevalent here. Ho Chi Minh's home stands alongside the mausoleum, as well as a lotus-flower-shaped museum dedicated to him. We'll visit the Nha Hat Lon opera house, the most convincing representation of the French influence on the architecture of Hanoi. We'll also see Chua Mot Cot Pagoda, built of wood around a single rock shaft, representing the pristine, sacred stamen of a lotus flower. After dinner, we'll take the overnight train toward a colorful tribal area of North Vietnam, near the Chinese border. Overnight will be in compartments for four people on the train. (Double compartments are available for an extra charge.)
Day 5, Friday Lao Cai - Sapa
Upon our arrival to Lao Cai we'll have breakfast at Sapa. Afterwards we'll head out to visit the colorful local mountain tribes. We'll visit the village of The-Van and the Mung, Dezai and Dezou tribes. In the afternoon we'll arrive to our hotel to prepare for Shabbat, Shabbat services and dinner.
Day 6, Shabbat Sapa
After Shabbat services and lunch we'll take a walking tour to Ham Rong Mountain. We'll see an orchid flower garden and the village of Cat-Cat. We'll observe the lifestyle of the local population and talk with some of the residents.
Day 7, Sunday Sapa and environs
After breakfast we'll head for the village of Bak Ha where there's a colorful Sunday market every week - the largest of its kind in Northwest Vietnam. We'll be able to enjoy the beauty of it and make many purchases - fruit and vegetables, as well as donkeys and other animals (!), clothing and local arts and crafts. From the market we'll make our way back to Sapa. We'll tour the valley with its villages, and the rice terraces that ring the surrounding mountains, marveling at the local town-folk and their colorful traditional clothing. In the evening after dinner, we'll take the overnight train from Sapa back to Hanoi.
Day 8, Monday Hanoi - Hue
We arrive in Hanoi at 5:00 a.m. Some hotel rooms will be available to us to shower and freshen up before we go out for breakfast, and head to the airport for our flight to Hue in central Vietnam. Hue was Vietnam’s ancient royal capital. We’ll tour the remains of the very beautiful and unique Forbidden City- fashioned after Chinese forbidden cities, but with a distinct Vietnamese style, and the mausoleums of the emperors, and then cruise down the Perfume river. Dinner and overnight in Hue.
Day 9, Tuesday Hue - Hoian
In the morning we’ll depart Hue for Hoi An. This ancient city, located 45 minutes away from Da Nang, used to be one of the main trading harbors in all of South East Asian. Hoi An’s character and past have been splendidly preserved, and we’ll see many temples, pagodas and small stores on our way through the ancient quarter or this most picturesque town.
We’ll visit the Japanese Covered Bridge. Designed very solidly due to fear of earthquakes, the bridge has remained a symbol of Japanese design – very different from the ornate local Vietnamese or Chinese themes. The bridge houses a small temple, Chua Cau. It’s protected on one end by statues of monkeys and on the other by statues of dogs – both connected to ancient local mythology.
Day 10, Wednesday Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
This morning we’ll fly to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Upon arrival we’ll start our tour of the city. This is the largest city in Vietnam, the heart and soul of the country. It’s a dynamic, bustling city - the country’s commercial, industrial and cultural center. The streets are filled with stores and stalls and caravans selling all kinds of goods and wares – all on the sidewalks. Despite it all, here in the metropolis you can still find islands of ancient culture.
On our tour we’ll see the Notre-Dame Cathedral, built in the 19th century, the Post Office and the Municipal headquarters at the end of Nguyen Hue Road. We’ll see the presidential palace and the many markets spread all over the city. Saigon’s beauty is in its special authenticity, its Vietnamese-ness. It’s visible everywhere and felt throughout the narrow, crowded streets, crammed buildings, multiple marketplaces and hundreds of restaurants.
Day 11, Thursday Vin Long - Mekong Delta
Today we'll leave Ho Chi Minh City for a day tour of the Mekong delta. We'll stop along the way to see how the rice paddies are farmed. Upon arrival to Kai Beh; we'll start off by sailing to the local unique, authentic floating market. We'll watch the locals trading goods, fruits and various wares as they sail in their small boats. We'll stop in one of the villages to visit the tropical fruit plantations. We'll continue sailing through the narrow canals and enjoy the view of the upper Mekong delta. We'll visit some home-factories that produce coconut candies and puffed rice snacks. When we arrive to the village of Vin Long - the emerald of the area - we'll be able to feel how life and nature blend together. We'll enjoy a performance of Vietnamese music in a bonsai garden. In the late afternoon we'll return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 12, Friday Cu Chi Tunnels
The 75 miles of the Cu Chi Tunnels are our main destinations today. Cu Chi means The Land of Flowering Gardens - but it's not indicative of where we'll be. We'll travel Southeast from Ho Chi Minh City to visit the hidden paradise of the Vietcong guerillas and the local villagers among whom they hid. It's considered one of the main battlefields of the Vietnam War and has been transformed into a major tourist attraction. In the afternoon we'll return to Ho Chi Minh City to prepare for Shabbat, Shabbat services and dinner.
Day 13, Shabbat Ho Chi Minh City
After Shabbat services and lunch, we'll take a walking tour of the area around the hotel. We will see the cathedral of Notre Dame built at the end of the 19th century, the post office building and the Municipal House next by on Nguyen Hue road. W will also see the President's Palace and the markets around. Saigon is not a beautiful city. Its attraction is the special atmosphere in every corner of the city.
Days 14-17, Sunday-Wednesday Siem Reap, Angkor, Home
We bid a sad farewell to Vietnam - but we're headed for a place that's even more amazing. We'll fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Upon arrival we'll go to our hotel for orientation and then head out for our first visit.
The next three days will be devoted to the city and the temples of Angkor. This is the ancient Khmer capital that was swallowed up by the jungle over 750 years ago. The temples, built between 879-1191 when the Khmer empire was at its peak represent one of the most impressive architectural creations of the human race. From the enormous Angkor Palace, the Khmer emperors ruled over an expansive area, stretching from southern Vietnam to Yunan province in China, and as far as the Bay of Bengal in the west. The buildings that stand today in Angkor - more than 100 temples in all - are the remnants of religious buildings of an immense social and administrative society, the other buildings of which - palaces, public buildings and private homes - were built of wood and have completely eroded over the ages. Angkor is a UNESCO heritage site.
We'll visit most of the temples and the main parts of the city, and take in a sunset to remember forever. After dinner we'll enjoy a traditional dance show. The next morning we'll visit the floating village, a half-hour drive along Cambodia's typical rickety roads. Most the houses are built of stilts in the Tonela Seap River. After the visit we'll return to our hotel and prepare for departure to the airport. After dinner we'll fly to Bangkok and from there we’ll make our way home.
On the 18th day, arrival to home sweet home. What a trip it's been!
- Airport taxes and fuel surcharges as known on date of publication
- Domestic Flights Bangkok-Hanoi / Hanoi-Hue-Ho Chi Minh City / Ho Chi Minh City - Seam Reap - Bangkok (there may be changes)
- Overnight return train to Sapa in compartments for 4 people with communal toilets
- First tourist class hotels or the best available locally
- International Airport and security taxes
- Air-conditioned touring coach for traveling according to local standards
- Breakfast and dinner daily and supplies for making sandwiches for lunch
- Professional & experienced Israeli guide
- Local English-speaking Guide as required
- Entrance to all sites mentioned in the tour plan
- International Flights
- Cambodian & Vietnamese Visas - $100
- Double train compartment surcharge - $75 (not guaranteed - requires confirmation from local agent upon arrival)
- Tips for local service providers US$120 per person
- Travel and baggage Insurance
- Personal expenses
- Evening entertainment that are not included in the tour plan
- Changes in air fares due to increases in fuel
- Airport tax and security tax surcharges
- Tip for Israeli guide (Recommended: $3 per person per day)
Important TO Know
There may be changes to the schedule and hotel reservations dependent upon international and domestic flights. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary. In any event of fault relating to flights, cruises, sailings or other mode of transportation, the responsibility lies with the service provider alone
Day of departure and arrival are included in the total days of the tour. Insurance is required for 19 days. We urge all passengers to purchase travel and cancellation insurance immediately upon registration for the tour. This ensures a refund of expenses in case of cancellation due to illness or bereavement.
Date And Prices
TermsMore than 50 working days prior to departure: $47 per passenger registration fee only 30-49 working days prior to departure: $700 + $47 8-29 working days prior to departure: $1,000+ $47 0-7 working days prior to departure: Passenger will be liable for full payment of all expenses connected to the tour (including visas, etc.) Fridays, Shabbat and Holidays (including Chol Hamoed in Israel), and Sundays and Public Holidays abroad are not considered working days. If flight tickets have already been issued and/or any other services have already been purchased (visas, etc.) their costs will be added to the cancellation penalties mentioned above. We are obliged to purchase domestic flights ahead of time. These tickets are not refundable and therefore their cost will be added to all cancellation penalties. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations, flight tariffs and cost of land services. If Visas and/or tickets have been issued their costs will be added to the penalties mentioned above.
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