On this fifteen day tour, you will visit the beautiful World Heritage Site, Halong Bay, visit fascinating places in Hanoi such as the “Hanoi Hilton,” the Ho Chi Minh Complex, and the Temple of Literature, and take a night train to the north to see the colorful ethnic minorities in their villages, homes, and markets. You will see the old capital of Hue and the quaint and beautiful port town of Hoi An- home to people of Chinese and Japanese descent who brought with them their traditions and their architecture. You will visit the lush Mekong Delta, the famous Cu Chi tunnels, and vibrant Ho Chi Minh City (known prior to the war as Saigon, and still called Saigon by its residents and most Vietnamese people). After visiting Saigon, you will fly to Siem Reap in Cambodia to discover the marvel of the Angkor Complex including Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Banteay Srei, Ta Prohm, and the jewel in the crown, Angkor Wat!
Your internal flights and overnight trains are included in the price of the tour. Most of the dinners on this tour will include fish. We will have chicken or meat on both shabbatot and when we are in Saigon and eat at Chabad. All cooking is done under the strict supervision of our shomer mitzvot tour manager, and to the extent possible within the guidelines of kashrut, we provide authentic local cuisine.
On this tour you will enjoy a comprehensive look at Vietnam and Cambodia and it will be an experience you will treasure always.
Tour Guide: Rona Michelson
Day 1: (Tuesday)
Arrival Noi Bai airport. Pick up and transfer to hotel.
Day 2: (Wednesday): Ha Noi – Ha Long
After breakfast, we will visit the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument where we will see the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh, who to many in the West was an enemy, but to the Vietnamese people, he was “Uncle Ho.” One can’t help being impressed by the dignity and decorum afforded him. We will also visit the two homes he lived in while serving as President of Vietnam. We then will visit the Temple of Literature, the first Vietnamese university, established in 1070. This impressive site is of uniquely Eastern design with gardens and walkways. Later we will visit Maison Centrale, also known as Hoa Lo Prison and better known as the “Ha Noi Hilton” which was originally a prison where the French housed Vietnamese dissidents and later served as a prison for captured American POWs during the Vietnam War. We then will take a fascinating drive to Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage site. We will enjoy the beautiful vistas of the limestone islands that give the bay its name.
Day 3: (Thursday): Ha Long – Ha Noi – Night train to Lao Cai
We will have breakfast at the hotel and then be transported to a boat that will take us sailing through breathtaking vistas for about four hours. We will see life on the bay, beautiful lagoons, and a cave, formed in the same way as the rocks that protrude from the water. Legend has it that these magnificent pillars are the teeth of dragons. We will return to Ha Noi for a cyclo tour of the old quarter and then, after dinner, we will transfer to the railway station for an overnight train to Lao Cai. Each sleeper cabin will be allocated to two people and is outfitted with beds that have linens on them and room for storage. There are bathrooms as each end of the train car.
Day 4: (Friday): Lao Cai – Sa Pa
We arrive at Lao Cai station early in the morning and transfer to our hotel in Sapa to have breakfast . Sa Pa was a resort for the French when they occupied Vietnam and it is a beautiful, mountainous terrain with terraces where rice and tea are planted. Its population is colorful as there are villages of minority people whose clothing is intricately designed. We will see the colors of the Flowered Hmong, and silver jewelry on the necks and wrists of the indigo- clad Black Hmong, and the scarlet hues of the turbans and other headware of the Red Dao. We will take a walk through one or more villages and visit the people to see for ourselves what life there is like. Later, we will return to Sa Pa and prepare for Shabbat.
Day 5: (Saturday): Sa Pa
After tfilot and breakfast, we will take a walking tour to Ham Rong Mountain and see the orchid garden there. The mountain has lots of surprises including beautiful gardens. We will see a folklore show on the mountain before returning to the hotel for a short rest, mincha, and our main meal.
Day 6: (Sunday): Sa Pa- Bac Ha- Night train to Ha Noi
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit Bac Ha, the site of the most colorful and famous market in all of Vietnam. Here people not only trade fruits and vegetables and animals, but it is a meeting place for people from around the area and a place where a young couple may meet. We will see the young girls dressed in exquisite traditional beaded outfits so they can look their best. We will see them arriving at the market in traditional dress with their cell phones, sometimes arriving on a motorbike! After visiting a village in the area, we will return to Lao Cai, have dinner, and take the night train to Ha Noi.
Day 7: (Monday): Ha Noi- Da Nang – Hoi An
We will arrive in Ha Noi early in the morning and transfer to our mini hotel for freshening up and breakfast. We will then visit the Ethnology Museum. From there we will transfer to the Noi Bai Airport for a flight to Da Nang. Once in Da Nang, we will transfer to Hoi An, passing by the famous China Beach.
Day 8: (Tuesday): Hoi An
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the My Son Sanctuary. In the afternoon, we will visit Hoi An’s ancient town. Hoi An was a very important port city that became very cosmopolitan, housing Chinese and Japanese who brought along their traditions and architecture. We will visit the Phuc Kien pagoda, the Japanese bridge, and the Au Dai shop. We will take a short boat ride to Thanh Ha village where we will see some local pottery work. After dinner we will walk to a bridge where we will acquire little paper boats that are lit with candles and we will lower them into the water. These are thought to bring good luck and they are very picturesque.
Day 9: (Wednesday): Hoi An – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will travel to the Cham Museum to see artifacts of the Cham civilization that inhabited this area and spread into Cambodia as well. We will also visit Marble Mountain and then head for the airport where we will take off for Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC- Saigon). Once there, we will visit the Vinh Nghiem pagoda and then enjoy a water puppet show, one of Vietnam’s very special folk arts. Dinner will be at Chabad.
Day 10: (Thursday): Ho Chi Minh City- Vinh Long – Ho Chi Minh City
Today we visit the Mekong Delta, an area almost twice as large as the State of Israel! We will travel to Vin Long and see the Cai Be floating market, visit a home business that uses local products such as rice and coconut to produce candies and other foods, have an opportunity to taste some exotic fruits, and enjoy making our way on the many waterways in the area. We return in the evening to HCMC
Day 11: (Friday): Ho Chi Minh City- Cu Chi, Tay Ninh – Ho Chi Minh City
We will set out early in the morning to see the Cu Chi Tunnels. This tunnel system, used by the Viet Cong, stretched over 250 kilometers from Saigon to the Cambodian border and was three levels deep. This network included innumerable hidden entrances, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers, and kitchens. Today we can see samples of this vast network and for those who choose, even walk a short distance in one of the tunnels. From there, we proceed to Tay Ninh where we will see the Cao Dai Temple. Cao Dai is a Vietnamese religion whose patron saints include Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo and Winston Churchill to name a few. The religion is a hybrid of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. The Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh has been described as a “Walt Disney World of the East.” The temple’s interior is decorated with multi-colored dragons of all shapes and sizes competing for space with a number of religious symbols. Above the main entrance is the all-seeing holy eye, the symbol of the Cao Dai sect.
After our visit, we will return to the hotel and prepare for Shabbat. Tfilot and Shabbat dinner.
Day 12: (Saturday) Ho Chi Minh City
After prayers and breakfast, we shall go for a walking tour including the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office. Later, we will return for Mincha, our main meal, and Maariv and Havdalah
Day 13: (Sunday) Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap
In the morning, we will transfer to the airport for a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. We will be met at the airport and transported to our hotel, a few minutes away. We then will visit the Gate of the Death, Spean Thma, T Keo, Terrance of Srang, and Prasat Kravan.
In the afternoon we will visit the famous temple: Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat was designated a World Heritage Site in 1992, and is 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. After our visit there, we will visit Bakheng Temple and enjoy a romantic sun set view from Bakheng Hills.
Day 14: (Monday): Siem Reap
In the morning, we will visit the antique capital of Angkor Thom (12th 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 Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King.
In the afternoon, we will visit the floating village of Chhong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap. We will take an excursion in a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap Lake, the “Great Lake” of Cambodia, one of the largest in Asia.
Later, we will relax with a traditional Khmer foot massage.
Day 15: (Tuesday): Siem Reap
After breakfast at the hotel, we begin the morning with a visit Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre temples. We will stop to see life in the countryside. Later we will visit Les Artisans d’Angkor – Chantiers Ecoles of Siem Reap and spend time at leisure at a local market. After an early dinner at the hotel we will transfer to the airport for our departure flight.
|Tour Code||Departure date||Air + Land *||Land only *||Single Room**|
|VIE17/2||11/13/2017||4900 $||885 $|
* Price per person in USD double or twin room
** Supplement Price for single room
* Price of tour is subject to changedue to change in air fare.
- Train tickets according to the tour plan
- 4* Hotels
- Entrance fees as per the itinerary
- Comfortable air conditioned touring coach
- Kosher half board & lunch packs daily
- Professional experienced English-speaking guide
- Local English-speaking Guide as required
- Tips for local service providers
- International flights
- Personal expenses
- Tips for local service providers $140
- Shows and evening entertainment not included in the itinerary
- Tip for our Tour Guide (Recommended: $5 per person per day)
- Visa for Vietnam: $95 (will be add to your invoice)
- Visa for Cambodia: $30 (paid directly at Cambodia airport)
- Airport Departure Tax: $25
Important to Know:
- There may be changes to the order of places visited. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary.
- The tour organizers have no control over airline services such as seating, special meal requests, changes in departure times or delays. These remain the sole responsibility of the airline company.
Kashrut on Tours
Only strictly kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. On some of our tours we are able to provide glatt meals. Kashrut is of utmost importance to us and we take special measures to ensure that everything served is kosher.
Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.
We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.
On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.
It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.
Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:
A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. Payment in full is due 60 days before departure. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.
• 90 days before departure bookings are refundable less a $100 administration fee
• 60-90 days prior to departure: $300 + $100 per passenger
• 60-30 days prior to departure: $500 + $100 per passenger
• Less than 30 working days prior to departure: 100% of total – no refund
We strongly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance.
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