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Best of Vietnam Cambodia with Simona Pellegrini

Vietnam and Cambodia Tour – The Best of Vietnam and Cambodia 

I have just finished my trip in Vietnam and Cambodia with Amo Travel and came back to Italy . I must say that I was very satisfied, they had responded promptly to all our demands. Although Amo Travel is an new agency, they can offer a great product. A special mention goes to young guides. This travel agent is highly recommended for who want to travel to Southeast Asia.

Tour Name: The best of Vietnam Cambodia
Travel style: Classic and Local Life
Travel Date: 23 Aprile 2016 – 14 May 2016
Here is the review of our client on Tripadvisor 


Day 1: Hanoi arrival – Street food tour with speaking Italian students
Upon your arrival, your guide and driver would be ready to welcome you right at the arrival lounge of Noi Bai international airport. Your guide would debrief for you about the whole trip itinerary, and eager to respond to all of your wondering.

In the afternoon, you will have street food tour – an authentic tour of Amo Travel: Food on foot. Then walking in to the  36 old streets in Hanoi and you will taste the food on street.

Day 2: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay (B/L/D) 

07.45 – 8:30: The shutter bus will pick you up from your hotel and heading to northeast of Vietnam setting out on a 3.5 hour drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Halong Bay. Then you would have 24 hours on a traditional style Vietnamese Junk Cruise which would set sail at noon and board your junk. Lunch with diversified fresh seafood would be served on board.

Aboard the cruise, you would take time to visit several highlight locations:

  • 3 largest caves: Thien Cung, Dau Go, Sung Sot
  • Titop beach for swimming (weather permit) or being on the deck for sunbathing
  • Nearby summits where you can take short trekking to watch over the bay from the high.

Back on the junk, the stunning sunset time is on your view and a dinner awaits with cocktails available for purchase from the bar. Passing the night on your junk, the gentle rocking of calm waters will lull you to sleep.

 Halong sunset E-3


Day 3: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – train to Lao Cai (B/L/-)
Waking up early in the calming sounds of waves crashing the nearby islands, you can enjoy a morning coffee and watch the sun rise on the top deck, or you may join Tai Chi Class if you wish to. You will continue sailing around the magnificent bay and even to Bai Tu Long, where the movie “Indochine” was filmed. Sitting on the upper deck and enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the crystal-clear water of the bay. The brunch would be served while the junk starts cruising back.

Your cruise will end at noon (around 12:00 pm) ang return to hanoi

At 20:40 PM guide and the driver would help your move from your hotel to the Hanoi train station for an overnight train ride to Lao Cai.

Day 4: Sapa – Coc Ly Market – Sapa (B/-/D)
Arriving in the early morning at Lao Cai station and having breakfast at local restuarant. Then transfer to Coc Ly market a Cocly  is roughly 35km from Bac Ha and takes place every Tuesday.  After a short trekking, drive to Sapa. Dinner and overnight at homestay a Sapa.

I sorrisi innocenti delle bambine nel mercato nell'altopiano
Innocent smiles from hill tribal in the north of Vietnam

Day 5: Sapa trekking –  Cat Cat – Sin Chai – train to Hanoi (B)
Breakfast at  homestay. Transfer by private car to South-west of Sapa (around 4 km) to visit Cat Cat village of the Black H’mong. Relax at the food of the stunning waterfall and the vestige of a hydroelectric power station that was constructed by the French during the colonial time in Vietnam. For the difficult senior, could wait with driver as the road going downhill is difficult with many steps.

Pick-up and transfer to Sin Chai, the village located at the foot of Fansipan Mountain, “the roof of Vietnam and Indochina”. From here you can enjoy huge stunning landscapes before going back to Sapa. Check-out and lunch is at local restaurant. Free time in Sapa before going to station at Lao Cai for the train to Hanoi

Day 6: Hanoi – Ninh Binh: Hoa Lu Temple – Tam Coc  – Bich Dong Pagoda (B)
Your train will arrive in Hanoi at the early morning. Your driver and guide would see you at the station then take you to an restaurant for breakfast, before going to Ninh Binh.

Often referred to as “Inland Ha Long Bay ”, the area of Tam Coc and Hoa Lu is characterised by the limestone geology that gives rise to the towering karsts that make this picturesque area so unique. On this enjoyable day trip, the atmosphere is relaxed as you casually pedal and paddle your way past green rice fields, along waterways and through underground passages.

8.00 AM leave Hanoi by coach to Hoa Lu (2.5 hrs). Visit the historic capital of Viet Nam and the famous ancient temples of Le and The Dinh Dynasties. Bus transfer or cycle for an hour on picturesque quiet roads through villages, rice fields, rivers and rocky outcrops to Tam Coc (12km) for lunch. 
Boat trip to visit Tam Coc to see the beauty of the karst formations as you pass along their base and row into one of the many caves carved through the limestone. Drive back to Ha Noi. Tour ends around 6pm.

Day 7: Ninh Binh –  Mai Chau – Hanoi (B)
Breakfast at hotel. Early departure to Mai Chau, a little mountain village nestled in a superb valley of rice paddies, belonging to the White Thai Community. Stroll to discover the surrounding White Thai villages. The traditional dance show is the perfect occasion to taste the “Can”, a rice wine made of fermented sticky rice.

 Mai Chau_1000px_ (10)

Day 8: Hanoi visit – flight to Hue (B)
Breakfast at hotel. You would have the full day to explore the charm of Vietnam’s capital.  

9 am: Your guide and driver would wait for you at the lounge of the hotel.

You would be taken to highlight sites of Hanoi: the Presidential Palace (formerly Palace of the Governor-General of French Indochina), Ho Chi Minh house-on-stiltOne-Pillar Pagoda. You may also have chance to visit Vietnam’s very first university dated back in the 11th century. It is well-known in Vietnam for a combination of Confucian sanctuary and academy clearly proved by stone tablets which you may see.

After having lunch at a nice restaurant, upon your request, we would plan to visit Hanoi History Museum or the Museum of Ethnology – the space just for you to spot past events and turning points of Vietnam people along with the identity of 54 recognized ethnic groups of this S-shaped country.

Following by the Old Quarter Walking tour, you would have time at Café Giang  for some bitter sweet coffee, enjoying the local life at the oldest home-made coffee brand in Hanoi.

The day ended up with a Water Puppet Show which had been maintained there in Vietnam for around 1000 years.

Then the driver wil pick you up to Noi Bai international airport for your in-country flight to Hue. Upon your arrival, your guide  and driver would meet you at Phu Bai airport in Hue and take you to homestay for check-in.


Day 9: Hue –Tam Giang Lagoon – Hue visit (B/D)
Breakfast at hotel and then transfer to Tam Giang – the largest lagoon  in Southeast Asia  with  a length of 24 kilometers on an area of 52 square kilometers.. Your guide and driver pick you up and transfer you to the wharf for your boat ride on the Perfume River. During the boat trip, you will stop to visit the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, a symbol of Hue – the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship. Then you go to visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue with the Purple Forbidden City – once the Emperor’s private residence.

You will be having lunch at a local restaurant. The Hue Citadel is situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River. It covers an area 500 ha and has a system of three circles of ramparts: Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.You may continue to visit a tomb monument of King Tu Duc which is located in a very special area. More than just a tomb visiting, it’s the great chance to learn more about Nguyen King and the landscape is spectacular. Back to hotel, dinner is on your own.


La laguna di Tam Giang – la più grande del sud est asiatico
La laguna di Tam Giang – la più grande del sud est asiatico

Day 10: Hue – Danang – Hoi An visit (B)
Checking out in the morning, you would depart to Hoi An. You may stop by Lang Co beach to have short break before crossing Hai Van Pass. At the height of 450 meters above sea level Hai Van pass is the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and south Vietnam.. Here you can enjoy the magnificent view of the central coast. The soft adventure drive over the 23 km long pass will add more highlights for this trip. Moving southwards passing Lang Co, there will be a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the South China Sea, and the large coastal city of Danang before arriving in Hoi An.

Visit Cham Museum at Danang: this houses probably the best collection of Cham art to be found anywhere in the world. There are more than 300 artifacts in the museum, many dating to the 4th century. There are beautiful sculptures reflecting the 1000 year Cham period.

Lunch would be served at a local restaurant in Hoi An right after your arrival.

Hoi An comes to your mind as the charming historic city known to early  Western merchants, one of the major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Hoi An has a distinctive Chinese atmosphere with low, tiled-roof houses and narrow streets; the original structure of some of these streets is still virtually intact. Many of the houses were constructed of rare timbers and decorated with lacquer panels engraved with Chinese characters and pillars carved with ornamental designs.

Sightseeing in Hoi An
Hoi An is picturesque riverside town south of Danang. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of Southeast Asia’s major international ports during the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries. Now this beautifully preserved historic city is best seen on foot. The walking tour includes: Japanese covered bridge, Ceramic museum, Phung Hung ancient house, Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall and Lantern Making Working Shop.

Hoi An is very well-known for Tailors so Amo Travel would recommend the Le Loi or Yaly Tailor for your suite made (please note that we do not make any commission for the suggestion, the choice is yours).

Day 11 – 12: Hoi An free time (B)
Free time to relax at An Bang Beach.

Day 13: Hoi An free time – flight to Saigon (B)
Free time before going to airport for your flight from Da Nang to Saigon.

Upon your arrival, your guide  and driver would meet you at Tan Son Nhat international airport and take you to hotel for check-in.

Hoi An at Night-4


Day 14: Saigon – Cu Chi – Saigon visit(B)
After breakfast, you will be picked up and start moving to Cu Chi Tunnels (in the northwest of Ho Chi Minh city). In the Vietnam war in the 19th century, these were used as the hiding places for defending against the French. And until now, some have still been reserved, where you could spend time visiting. Right after that, your driver will pick you up back to Ho Chi Minh for the afternoon itinerary.

This is the perfect timing for you to explore our city tour. You would visit the former Presidential Palace, which is now preserved as a museum, including the underground communications bunkers, headquarters for the Saigon Government during the American (Vietnam) War. Following that, you continue with Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral in the centre of city, the ‘wedding cake’ styled Hotel D’ville and Dong Khoi streets, formerly the center of haute couture in Saigon when it was known as Rue Catinat. Dinner this evening is ready to await you at a local Vietnamese restaurant.

Cu Chi_1000px_ (2)


Day 15: Saigon – Mekong Delta – Cai Be, Vinh Long – Cho Lach (B/D)
You have breakfast at hotel before departing for Vinh Long in Mekong River with a stop for coffee break at Mekong Rest Stop. On arrival in Cai Be Town, board motorized boat to visit local corn/ rice pop making family. Continue by boat to go pass & visit Cai Be floating market. The cruise will later take us through tiny winding canals for a close up view of Mekong lively river life. We will have many photo opportunities of the fish traps and fruit gardens along the canals. Lunch is at bonsai garden with with elephant ear fish, Mekong specialty and opportunity to sample local wine. After lunch, re-board our boat to cruise towards Vinh Long downtown. From there it takes you another 30’ driving to Can Tho for 01 night stay.  Then transfer to Cho Lach.

Day 16: Cho Lach  – Chau Doc (B)
Breakfast, bicycle to visit “Cho Lach” (belong to your health; you can take within 3, 6 or 8 km). Discovery local life, school…Free lunch.

Afternoon you will go to Chau Doc and visit Hang Pagoda (Chùa Hang), Cham Village at Sam Moutain (Núi Sam). Overnight in Chau Doc.

Day 17: Chau Doc – speedboat to Phnom Penh (B) 
After breakfast, check-out the hotel then travel by speedboat up the Mekong to Cambodia’s capital: Phnom Penh. The total trip takes about four and a half hours (including visa formalities). Visas are easily obtained at the border between Vietnam and Cambodia and cost $22 (including the processing fee).

Your guide will meet you at the dock in Phnom Penh and take you to the hotel. Despite its recent turbulent history, Phnom Penh’s wide tree-lined boulevards and faded colonial mansions hold an undeniable charm. After lunch at a downtown restaurant, take a leisurely tour to visit the Russian Market and try out your best bargaining skills.

Can Tho _ 1000px_ (8)

Day 18: Phnom Penh – bus to Siem Reap – Bang Malea Temple (B)
Breakfast at hotel. Today you travel to Siem Reap, the gateway into the ancient Angkor temples. After breakfast our driver will meet you at your hotel and take you on the 5 hour drive along the Mekong River. The journey offers an excellent opportunity to observe rural Cambodia up-close. Stop along the way and visit a market, where every assortment of street food is available, including the Khmer favorite: fried spiders! Once you arrive in Siem Reap, check in at the hotel then enjoy lunch at a downtown restaurant. In the late afternoon, drive to the Angkor Archeological Complex to watch the sunset from Phnom Krohm Mountain or at Bakheng Hill, gilding the surrounding temple-dotted jungle in golden light.

Day 19: Siem Reap – Angkor Wat – Angkor Thom – Prei Khan – Ta Prohm (B)
The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats; the city includes many of Angkor’s most popular sights. Enter by the monument South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant Naga. Continue to the Terrace of the elephants and the Terrace of the Leper Kings, former spaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas reliefs.

Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where you will find giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down at you from every angle.

Visit Angkor Wat . The crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temple, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. To approach the temple, first cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with Naga balustrades. As you enter the main building, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu Mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise is especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones.

Day 20: Siem Reap – Banteay Srey – Banteay Samre – flight to Hanoi (B)
Sightseeing in Angkor. Visit Banteay Srei Temple : Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor temples, Banteay Srei is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. Built in pink sandstone, the walls are covered in exquisitely preserved carvings of unusual delicacy. Because of its small size, fairy-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favorite with visitors.

Visit Ta Prohm: one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them. In the afternoon, we drive to airport  to catch a flight from Siem Reap to Hanoi. Arrive Noi Bai International Airport and transfer to your homestay for check-in and overnight.


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Day 21:  Hanoi – Tho Ha village – Hanoi Departure (B/L/D)
Breakfast at hotel

09.00: Depart for Tho Ha village, the famous village of terracotta products before 20th century. Discover village through narrow and zigzag alleys with the old houses had been constructed from broken part of terracotta from the past. In the morning you could visit also a house of Mr.Viet, one of the villager who could show you how to make Rice Paper the present job of the village. Walking over village cemetery to the dike, where you can see the village from distance over the beautiful lake.

Take a ferry back to the car then transfer to Dong Ho village where you could relax and make biking tour to have more interacts with local peoples.

At 20:30 you  will transfer to the airport for departure flight.