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Itinerary map here

Itinerary:
A Taste of Indochina: Hanoi and Siem Reap

3 nights: Hanoi for great food, good coffee, endless shopping and sightseeing.
0 nights: Halong Bay for cruise tour, kayaking and cave exploring.
3 nights: Siem Reap for temple running in Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat, swimming at Kulen mountain, ruins exploring in Beng Mealea and experiencing the nightlife on Pub Street.



" If you're a foodie and you love to explore new places, a visit to cultural Hanoi and historic Siem Reap might be just for you. This one-week itinerary is enough to give you a quick break from your daily routine. "


Some general information:

Hanoi is located in the northern part of Vietnam and experience four seasons. If you're not used to hot temperatures or want to get away from the summer heat, try visiting during in the winter. For transportation, Hanoi is pretty walkable but if you're up for it, you can rent a motorbike to roam around the streets, although traffic can be a headache sometimes.

Cambodia is a country that has only two seasons - dry and wet. I would personally suggest visiting Cambodia during the dry season when there would be clear skies to take the beautiful photos. When in Cambodia, you won’t have to worry about exchanging US dollars to Cambodian riel since they accept USD for most of the places, in bills. Any amount smaller than $1 will be given in Cambodian riel. For transportation, you can find a tuktuk at almost every corner.

1

Hanoi

3 nights

Introduction:

Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital and the city is filled with influences from different cultures like Chinese and French. Wandering the streets of Hanoi on foot will allow you to eat, shop and see the hospitality of the locals.

What to do:

Hanoi’s most visited area is the Old Quarter and it best explored on foot. Each street offers different specialities like silk, clothes, souvenirs, food - seafood, pho, and more! Every turn is a different surprise. While walking through the streets of Old Quarter, you can drop by and see St. Joseph’s Cathedral, or more commonly known as the “Notre Dame of Hanoi”. After taking a stroll in the Old Quarter, wander further to visit the prison used by French colonist for the political prisoners in Vietnam, Hỏa Lò Prison, also called the Hilton Hanoi. An afternoon walk by the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake and a quick visit to Ngoc Son Temple is a good way to rest for a while before heading to watch the popular Water Puppet Show. If you happen to be in Hanoi on Friday to Sunday, be sure to visit the Night Market along Hang Dao street in the Old Quarter area.

Hanoi is also home to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum which is open for viewing only on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 8 AM to 11 AM. The Vietnamese are very strict with the dress code when paying respects to Ho Chi Minh, so make sure your shoulders and legs are well covered when visiting. After visiting the mausoleum, you can also visit the Presidential House and Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House. Within the complex is the Ho Chi Minh Museum and the One Pillar Pagoda. The museum have the same operating hours as the mausoleum so it would be best to visit them together. After visiting Ho Chi Minh, you can visit to the [ http://www.btlsqsvn.org.vn/tabid/56/language/en-GB/Default.aspx Vietnam Military History Museum] to see the different planes, fighter jets and tanks used in the war.

Hanoi also has a lot of temples and pagodas you can visit. Temple of Literature is a Temple of Confucius in Hanoi which also houses the first national university of Vietnam. Tran Quoc Pagoda is a popular Buddhist pagoda and temple found in the West Lake in Hanoi and nearby is the Quan Thanh Temple, a Taoist temple which dates back to the 11th century. After visiting the Tran Quoc Pagoda, you can take a short bus ride to Long Bien Bridge to take photos of the bridge and the sunset. The bridge was built by the French and designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel. Today, the bridge is only used by the train in the middle and people riding motorcycles and bicycles.

Eat & drink:

If you’re a coffee enthusiast, drop by Cafe Giang along Ngyuen Huu Huan street to taste the famous egg coffee. When in Vietnam, you must also try the authentic Vietnamese pho. A popular place to try is Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su or you can do what the locals do, eat pho along the streets - an experience you wouldn’t want to miss! Some Vietnamese enjoy pho for breakfast, but if you’re looking for some bread, try some banh mi at Banh-Mee. Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich influenced by the French using a baguette.

Next:

While in Hanoi, book for a tour to Halong Bay and the travel agency will arrange a mini-bus to take you to there.

2

Halong Bay

0 nights

Introduction:

Halong Bay is found at the northeast of Vietnam and is known for its emerald waters and islands topped with rainforests. A cruise is a great way to see the sights and also go kayaking to see the caves by the water.

What to do:

The Halong Bay day tour includes a 3.5-hour drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay port. In between, you will be taken to a quick stopover and you’ll arrive at the bay by lunchtime. Lunch is served on the 4-hour cruise along the bay and a stop at a small port for you to go kayaking and see the small caves formed by the limestone islands. Afterwards, depending on your tour, you will take a mini hike inside Thien Cung Cave to look at the stalactites and stalagmites formations.

Next:

The bus will take you back to your hotel back in Hanoi where you can spend the night eating and having fun in the city. The following day, take a flight from Hanoi to Siem Reap.

Conclusion

That's it for a week of food and culture in Hanoi and historic adventure Siem Reap! If you're looking to extend your vacation, a pit stop to Thailand may be worthwhile.