Vietnam & Cambodia

Vietnam and Cambodia Itinerary

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

This is an unforgettable tour to a unique and almost undiscovered world.   Unlike other tourist destinations, the landscape, villages, and people are unspoiled.  Vietnam and Cambodia offer exquisite natural scenery and some of the warmest, friendliest people you ever will meet. Vietnam’s culture is interwoven between city life and traditional tribal practices. Despite the scars of its recent history the country possesses a serene environment. And wherever you look, there’s lots and lots of water. Added to the beauty of Vietnam in this tour is the magnificence of the Temples of Angkor and the unique Cambodian culture. This is an exhilarating, thrilling, and breathtaking experience.

The next tour is with our colleague, Rita Silber, beginning on February 4, 2018

We hope to be traveling there on July 31, 2018

Day 1: (Tuesday) 
(Passengers departing from Israel: Depart Tel Aviv on Monday and arrive Noi Bai on Tuesday).
Arrival Noi Bai airport. Pick up and transfer to hotel.
Hotel: Lacasa Hotel or similar

Day 2: (Wednesday): Hanoi- Halong 
After breakfast we will visit the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument where the preserved body of ‘Uncle Ho’ resides. We will also visit the homes where he lived.  Continue to the Temple of Literature, the first university for the sons of mandarins, for an overview of Hanoian culture and we will also visit Maison Centrale also known as Hoa Lo Prison and the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American POW during the Vietnam War. The fortress was once a vast colonial-style prison, most of which was torn down in the 1990s. We will drive to beautiful Halong Bay, a World Heritage site. and be welcomed aboard and set sail through the bay that passes through the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth. After lunch, we will take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with golden sails.
Hotel: Royal Lotus Hotel or similar

The One Pillar Pagoda

The One Pillar Pagoda

Day 3: (Thursday): Ha Long – Ha Noi- Night train to Lao Cai 
Breakfast at hotel. Get on boat for 4 hours on the bay to visit famous caves and lagoon. Transfer back to Ha Noi, take the cyclo tour to visit Ha Noi old quarter then dinner at restaurant. Transfer to the railway for night train on TSC TRAIN to Lao Cai ( Air-conditioned cabin: 2 persons/cabin).

Day 4: (Friday): Lao Cai – Sapa 
Early morning, arrival at Lao Cai station at 05.00AM. Pick up and transfer for breakfast at hotel in Sapa. In the terraced hills and mountains of Sapa, the monotony of the expansive green landscape is enlivened by the colors of its hill tribe population … the rainbow colors of the Flower H’mong, flashes of the shining silver jewellery from the necks and wrists of indigo-clad H’mong and the scarlet hues of the turbans worn by the Red Dao. It is where you will find hands stained with color from fabric dyes and shades of blue, red and green intricately embroidered and stitched into jackets, waistcoats, pants, skirts, caps purses and leggings.Enjoy a trek to through the green Sa Pa Valley to visit the Black H’mong minority of Lao Chai Village and Giay minority of Ta Van then back to Sapa and start preparing for Shabbat.
Hotel: Chau Long Hotel or similar


Women we met

Women we met

Day 5: (Saturday): Sapa 
After prayers and breakfast our guide will takes us on walking tours to visit Ham Rong Mountain with orchid garden enjoy to see the show in Ham Rong Moutain then walking to visit Sapa Town.
Accommodation at hotel in Sapa.

Day 6: (Sunday): Sapa- Bac Ha- Ha Noi
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Bac Ha Sunday market to see the colorful market.


The market at Bac Ha

The market at Bac Ha

From the market we’ll make our way back to Lao Cai. On the way, 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 Lao Cai back to Hanoi.

Day 9, Monday Hanoi –Hoi An

We arrive in Hanoi at 5:00 a.m. Hotel rooms will be available to us to shower and freshen up before we have breakfast. After breakfast, we will visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, founded shortly after the founding of Hanoi in 1010. We then transfer to the airport for our flight to Da Nang and will pass by China Beach on our way to our hotel in Hoi An, 45 minutes away. Dinner and overnight in Hoi An.

Hoi An's Silk Lanterns

Hoi An’s Silk Lanterns

Day 10, Tuesday HoiAn

This ancient city used to be one of the main trading harbors in all of South East Asia. Hoi An’s character and past have been splendidly preserved, and it has been designated a World Heritage Site. We will see many temples, pagodas and small stores selling local crafts on our way through the ancient quarter of 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.

We will visit a Chinese assembly hall and we will take a boat trip to visit Thanh Ha village. We will return to Hoi An for dinner and overnight.

Day 11, Wednesday Hoi An- Da Nang -Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

This morning we’ll visit the very lovely Cham Museum. Then we will 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.

We will visit the Vinh Nghiem Pagoda and enjoy a performance of the traditional Vietnamese water puppets! We will have dinner at Chabad and return to our hotel.

Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City

Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City

Day 12, 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 at 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. Dinner will be served at Chabad and we return to our hotel.

Day 13, 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 area of tourist interest. Painful, but fascinating!

In the afternoon we’ll return to Ho Chi Minh City to prepare for Shabbat, Shabbat services and dinner.

The soldier emerges

The soldier emerges

Day 14, Shabbat Ho Chi Minh City

We will daven shacharit in the hotel and have our second shabbat meal. We then will join Chabad for torah reading and musaf at Chabad. After Shabbat services, we’ll take a walking tour of the area around the hotel. We will see the very famous post office (that everyone thinks is a train station) and the Notre Dame Cathedral and will take a tour of the Reunification Palace. We will return to Chabad for mincha and our main Shabbat meal and maariv and havdala.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Day 13: (Sunday) Ho Chi Minh – Siem Reap 
Transfer to airport for departure flight to Siem Riep. Pick up at airport in Siem Riep, transfer to hotel (early check in is subject to availability). Visit to Gate of the Death, Spean Thma, T Keo, Terrance of Srang, and Prasat Kravan. PM: Visit the famous temple: Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a World Heritage Site since 1992, famous for its beauty and splendor. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology, visit Bakheng Temple and enjoy a romantic sun set view form Bakheng Hills.
Hotel: Apsara Angkor Hotel or similar

Day 14: (Monday): Siem Reap
AM: Visit the antique capital of Angkor Thom (12 century): the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Phimeanakas, the Royal Enclosure, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King.
PM: Visit the floating village of Chhong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap.  Visit the village and take an excursion in a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap Lake, the “Great Lake” of Cambodia, one of the largest in Asia.Relaxation with traditional Khmer foot massage for 1 hour in the city.
Accommodation at hotel in Siem Reap.

How many faces do you see?

How many faces do you see?

Day 15: (Tuesday): Siem Reap 
Breakfast at hotel. This morning begins with a visit Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre temples. Transfer to Visit Les Artisans d’Angkor – Chantiers Ecoles” of Siem Reap and spend time at leisure at a local market. Early dinner at restaurant.
Transfer to airport for departure flight.  (Passengers departing to Israel arrive Tel Aviv on Wednesday).

More information is available on the Kesher web page


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