15 Day Tour: November 9-23, 2024
- Base Pricing is always calculated for double occupancy.
- $1100 supplemental for Solo Travelers.
Places to see
before you die
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- Imperial Citadel
- Halong Bay
- Trang An Grottoes
- Hue City
- Forbidden Purple City
- Ho Chi Minh
- My Son
- China Beach
- Phnom Penh
- Siem Reap
- The Angkor Wat Complex
- Round trip airfare from Chicago
- Internal Flights
- First Class Hotel Accommodations
- All Breakfasts, All Lunches & All Dinners
- Deluxe Motorcoach Transportation
- Admissions to all listed Attractions
- Round trip airport transfers in the Chicago land area
- Guided by Bill Ball,
- Baggage Handling
- All Gratuities
Day One & Two We fly over the international date line and end up in one of the most fascinating and friendly countries on earth—Vietnam.
Day Three We tour the capital city of Hanoi by first visiting the tomb of the Ho Chi Minh where he still lies in state. The Presidential Palace and its French architecture is in striking contrast but provides a historical perspective. We will learn about Ho Chi Minh’s life by visiting his house. Of course, we will also drive by the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” where many American prisoners were kept. Our visit will end at the UNESCO World Heritage Imperial Citadel of Thong Long—a complex that reminds us of the many powers that fought over Vietnam long before the West.
Day Four Today we tour one of the most fascinating natural wonders of Asia—Halong Bay. We will take a private boat ride out among these rock spires of many shapes. It is one of Bill’s favorite natural wonders of the world. Your jaw will drop and then some.
Day Five Another day with awesome natural & manmade wonders, and like Halong, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will start with a visit to Hoa Lu, the ancient Capital of Vietnam from the 10th and 11th centuries. The two prominent emperors of the time have temples here dedicated to them that reflect the royal status. The afternoon brings a rare and wonderful treat with a visit to Trang An Grottoes, which is known as Vietnam’s “Inland Halong”. With it’s 50 cross-water caves and over 30 valleys, Trang An thrives with over 600 species of flora and 200 types of fauna—many rare and endangered.
Day Six We fly to Hue this morning and head to the water to board a private boat for cruise on the romantic Perfume River. Hue was the ancient capital and is surrounded by the royal tombs of the emperors. We will make a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, or “Lady Pagoda” which sits on the convergence of two rivers and gives a great view of the Perfume River and surrounding area. From here, we will visit both King Minh Mang and King Tu Duc tombs. This afternoon we will tour Hue City including the Old Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City.
Day Seven We head to Danang and the China Beach area today. Our big stop is one of the most memorable—My Son. My Son is UNESCO World Heritage site constructed between the 5th and 7th centuries of specially designed brick buildings. This is an exceptional example of the introduction of Hindu architecture of India into Southeast Asia. The grounds and temples are mind-blowing in their carvings and rescued-from-the-jungle look.
Day Eight We fly to Southern Vietnam today to the city once called Saigon—Now Ho Chi Minh. The Reunification Palace, one of the most historic buildings in the city, is where the war ended in 1975. The newly revamped War Remnants Museum one of UNESCO’s 60 Peace Museums of the World, focuses on the aftermath of the war. The French were instrumental in Vietnam and Notre Dame Cathedral built in the late 1800’s was build with stones imported from France! Along side the European architecture, we will visit Southeast Asian style temples and pagodas as well as the bustling Ben Thanh Market.
Day Nine One of the most famous and beautiful places in South Vietnam is the Mekong Delta which is our day trip destination. Cai Be floating market is our first stop exploring the Mekong Delta. A maze of boats with fruits, vegetables and other foods flood the waterway. Afterward, we may make some visits to local workshops to learn how different food products are made. We will then visit a handicraft village where you can see rice sheets, cooking salt and fish sauce being made. After lunch, we will see the traditional wooden houses and the daily activities of the residents such as fishing and picking fruits in the Mekong Delta. We have a special Vietnamese show slated for tonight—The Water Puppet show which is a spectacular which really involves puppets on water.
Day Ten We fly to Phnom Penh Cambodia today. This vibrant capital is the center of modern life in Cambodia and yet is one of the best places in Southeast Asia to see ancient architecture. We will tour the National Museum with its unparalleled collection of classic Khmer craftsmanship. We will also visit the Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on the city namesake hill.
Day Eleven We will visit more of this beautiful city’s treasures in the morning including the Royal Palace. Though the living quarters are off limits (the King still lives there), we can visit the Silver Pagoda-the most sacred temple in the country. A trip out of the city this afternoon takes us to the famous killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. The monuments here are stark reminders of man’s inhumanity to man.
Day Twelve To Siem Reap today with great photo stops along the way to really experience the true Cambodia . Upon arrival, we have our first look at one of the Seven Man-made Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day Thirteen We spend the entire day at the world famous Angkor complex. Our local guide will make the most of our visit of these buildings that were erected between the 9th and 13th centuries. These include Angkor Wat, the Bayon and jungle covered Ta Prohm.
Day Fourteen & Fifteen A bit more time in the morning to take in the great temple complex before we start our way home. We will arrive home with incredible memories of ancient temples, marvelous natural wonders, friendly people and two amazing cultures.