Ultimate Southeast Asia & The Majestic Mekong With Sapa – Southbound

07/25/2018 through 12/11/2018
07/25/2018 through 01/07/2019
Avalon Waterways

This inspiring river cruise vacation begins in vibrant Bangkok, Thailand. A boat ride on the klongs, Bangkok’s famous canals, is the perfect way to start your sightseeing. Continue at the Grand Palace featuring the Temple of the Emerald Buddha followed by the Temple of the Reclining Buddha-the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in the city. Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where you’ll see the magnificent Temples of Angkor. The famous temples here, such as Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple, featuring some 200 mysterious faces carved in its many towers, are a display of intricacy and architectural grandeur unmatched in the world. Next, board your ship and begin your cruise along the mighty Mekong River. Visit the capital city of Phnom Penh, with the magnificent Royal Palace featuring its striking Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. Take in the stunning views at the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren. Continue your cruise into Vietnam and stop in the villages for interactions with locals, such as a visit to the home of a skilled family who make handcrafted sampans for a living. Go on an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, the unbelievable network of tunnels used extensively during the war. In exciting Ho Chi Minh City, enjoy a walking tour of the famous landmarks and try your hand in the kitchen with a Vietnamese cooking class.

Disembark your cruise ship and fly to Hanoi, where you’ll explore the famous Old Quarter with peddlers trading goods among its 36 ancient streets. From here, travel to Ha Long Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, where you’ll be amazed at the more than 3,000 limestone islands of varying shapes. Enjoy a 2-night cruise along the bay with visits to the Cua Van Floating Village, fascinating caves, and a chance to swim at Titop Island. In Sapa, known for its beautiful mountain scenery and rice fields, you’ll visit one of the famous Weekly Markets where homemade goods are sold and the ethnic minority groups of the area wear their colorful costumes. The beautiful scenery, ornate temples, and interactions with locals make this river cruise vacation one you won’t soon forget!

Included Features:

Day 1 Arrive Bangkok: welcome to Thailand

Day 2 Bangkok: boat ride on klongs; visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Day 3 Bangkok: day at leisure

Day 4 Bangkok–Siem Reap: fly to Siem Reap

Day 5 Siem Reap: visit Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei; Apsara Dance Performance

Day 6 Siem Reap: visit Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, and Ta Prohm by tuk-tuk; Les Artisans d’Angkor

Day 7 Siem Reap (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 8 Kampong Tralach–Konpong Louang–Phnom Penh: ox cart through the countryside and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong Tralach; visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; sightseeing by private cyclo in Phnom Penh including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum

Day 9 Phnom Penh: visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and of the Killing Fields; afternoon at leisure; show by children from local orphanage

Day 10 Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban: visit Wat Hanchey and partake in a traditional water blessing by local monks; walking tour through Angkor Ban village with school visit

Day 11 Vietnam Border Crossing–Chau Doc: visit a local market and the religious sites of Sam Mountain in Chau Doc

Day 12 Long Khong A-Cu Lao Gieng: walking tour of Long Khong A with cotton-weaving demonstration; visit a sampan-making family and interact with a Catholic priest in Cu Lao Gieng

Day 13 Ben Tre: visit a local workshop to see how rice wine & traditional candy are made and a local garden

Day 14 Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation): walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking class

Day 15 Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels excursion

Day 16 Ho Chi Minh City–Hanoi: fly to Hanoi

Day 17 Hanoi: visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and Temple of Literature; lunch at Koto; electric cart ride through the Old Quarter; water puppets performance

Day 18 Hanoi–Ha Long Bay (Embarkation): drive to Ha Long Bay; visit Cua Van floating village

Day 19 Ha Long Bay: cruise the bay; visit Titop Island, Luon Cave, and Dark and Bright Cave; opportunity to explore by kayak

Day 20 Ha Long Bay (Disembarkation)–Hanoi: visit Sung Sot Cave; drive to Hanoi

Day 21 Hanoi–Sapa: drive to Sapa; visit a local market

Day 22 Sapa: visit Ta Van village, Lao Chai village, Silver Waterfall, and Heaven Gate

Day 23 Sapa: visit a weekly market and a Red Dao village

Day 24 Sapa–Hanoi: drive to Hanoi

Day 25Hanoi: end of vacation

Itinerary

Day 2 Bangkok
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Day 25 Hanoi
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Day 5 Siem Reap
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Day 20 Ha Long Bay – Hanoi
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Day 21 Hanoi – Sapa
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Day 23 Sapa
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Day 3 Bangkok
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Day 8 Kampong Tralach – Konpong Louang – Phnom Penh
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Day 12 Long Khong A - Cu Lao Gieng
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Day 6 Siem Reap
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Day 1 Bangkok, Thailand
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Day 15 Ho Chi Minh City. Excursion To Cu Chi Tunnels
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Day 24 Sapa – Hanoi
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Day 4 Bangkok – Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Day 9 Phnom Penh
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Day 10 Wat Hanchey – Angkor Ban
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Day 11 Border Crossing – Chau Doc Vietnam
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Day 13 Ben Tre
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Day 22 Sapa
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Day 7 Siem Reap (Embarkation)
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Day 16 Ho Chi Minh City – Hanoi
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Day 18 Hanoi – Ha Long Bay
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Day 17 Hanoi
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Day 19 Ha Long Bay
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Day 14 Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation)
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