Honeymoon Tour in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand


Travel by Design

Honeymoon Tour in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand – Oct 2017


hong-kong-915080_1280

Itinerary at a glance:


Tuesday 10 Oct 17
HONG-KONG ARRIVAL                                                                           

Upon arrival on TBA Flight (TBD) at the airport in Hong Kong, your guide will be waiting for you in the arrival hall holding a signboard with your name on it and bring you by air-conditioned vehicle to your hotel. On the way your guide will give you some information about the city or Chinese culture.


Wednesday 11 Oct 17
HONG-KONG                                                                                        

Full day city tour (based on 8 hours 9:00 am – 17:00 pm, including English speaking guide, driver with private air-conditioned vehicle (7-seat Alphard MPV)

In the morning, you will visit the Wong Tai Sin Temple. The Wong Tai Sin Temple’s claim to ‘make every wish come true upon request’ might have something to do with its popularity. Home to three religions (Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism) its natural setting and beautifully ornamented buildings make it as much a scenic attraction as an important religious center.

The temple commemorates the famous monk of yore, Wong Tai Sin (also known as Huang Chu-ping), who was born in the 4th century and became a deity at Heng Shan (Red Pine Hill). In 1915, Taoist priest Liang Ren-an carried a sacred portrait of Wong Tai Sin from Guangdong in southern China to Hong Kong. Now housing this precious portrait, the Wong Tai Sin Temple is where worshippers pray for good fortune through offerings, divine guidance and fortune telling.

Feng Shui enthusiasts may notice structures representing the five geomantic elements: The Bronze Pavilion (metal); the Archives Hall (wood); the Yuk Yik Fountain (water); the Yue Heung Shrine (fire), where the Buddha of the Lighting Lamp is worshipped; and the Earth Wall (earth). Other areas of the complex include the Three Saints Hall, the Confucian Hall and the extravagantly colorful Good Wish Garden that is lavishly decorated with chinoiserie.

Next you will explore the Bird Market and the Flower Market, both located in the north of Mongkok. To take a stroll with their caged birds is a favorite activity of old people in Hong Kong, and your walk through the market will be accompanied by the sweet lullabies of these small creatures kept for company. At the neighboring flower market, you can find a huge variety of flowers, from the famous Dutch tulip through to exotic orchids, all in a colorful sensory experience.

From here we move to the Goldfish Market, found on Tang Choi road, whose impassioned vendors not only hawk exotic fish, coral, tanks and accompanying plant decor, but also dogs, spiders, lizards and snakes – making the experience almost like going to the zoo! The popularity of fish in China comes from their symbolism of good fortune and association with wealth.

You will take the Star Ferry for the famous bay crossing, a real institution for the locals and a mythical voyage that the National Geographic Traveller magazine listed as one of their 50 experiences of a lifetime. From the boat you can appreciate what some consider as being the most beautiful skyline in the world, where the skyscrapers are set against the city’s highest hills. Visit to the small Tramway Museum, an important piece of the city’s colonial heritage that has been functioning for more than 120 years…

Ascent to Victoria Peak taking around 5 minutes in the Peak tram, which ascends at a gradient of up to 27 degrees! The peak is the highest point in Hong Kong (552m/1811ft) and is truly a great place to come to escape the summer heat. British colonists, who completed their ascension carried in Sedan chairs, regularly took refuge here during the 19th century and even granted residence rights only to expatriates (it was not until after the Second World War that locals were allowed to live there). You will be able to take in the magnificent 360-degree view from Sky Terrace 428 which, when the weather is good, lets you see both the tip of Kowloon and the neighbouring islands of Lantau and Lamma.


Thursday 12 Oct 17
HONG-KONG – DANANG – HOIAN                                                                        

Morning at leisure.

In the afternoon, you’ll be transferred by private air-conditioned vehicle (7-seat Alphard MPV) to the airport for your flight to next destination.

Recommended flight:  UO1558/16:00 – 16:50 (Current schedule, subject to change)

Arrive in Danang on UO1558 at 16:50, Our Travel representative will be waiting at the immigration Gate with a sign board to assist you with Visa procedure and luggage claim. The waiting time at the immigration, customs clearance, and baggage collection is reduced, after clearing custom and immigration welcome by your guide and transfer 40 minutes to your hotel in Hoian.

The rest of the day is at your leisure to recover from your long flight.


Friday 13 Oct 17 
HOIAN – JOIN IN HALF DAY MORNING COOKING CLASS AT RED BRIDGE – WALKING TOUR

This half day culinary adventure at the Red Bridge Cooking School takes you to the local market to buy ingredients for the morning’s cooking class. Then it’s a quick boat trip along the Thu Bon River to the school, where you will be treated to demonstrations of Hoi An specialties before being let loose in the kitchen.

Following breakfast at your hotel transfer by private vehicle to Hai Scout Café at 98 Nguyen Thai Hoc St for the start of your half days cooking class. Departure time is at 0815, a welcome drink will be served before visiting Hoi An’s colourful market to experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of the market.

Following board, The Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. The cooking class is an interesting and fun way to learn about the local cuisine -the class runs for about 2-hours, and includes demonstrations from the school’s chefs, a chance to cook some dishes then enjoy lunch. Following your meal head back to Hoi An Town (arrive around 1300).

Following lunch, take a walking tour of the ancient town center to visit the former merchants’ homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese communal hall and the colorful market.

  1. Overnight in Hoian
  2. Meals: Breakfast at hotel. Lunch included at cooking class & Dinner Independent

Saturday 14 Oct 17   
HOIAN – FREE DAY                                                                 

Whole day is at leisure. (Highly recommended)

OPTION: HOI AN MORNING COUNTRYSIDE ODYSSEY BY VINTAGE VESPA
PRICE: Net USD 150 per person  

This private half-day tour begins with an 8am pickup, ready for a fun-filled tour around Hoi An. Zipping off through the streets of the old town riding pillion on the back of Vintage Vespa to a local café, the day’s itinerary will be revealed in more detail. The tour will then head into Cam Kim Island’s buzzing fishing port, stopping at a traditional boat builder’s yard before venturing off to explore other local villages.

Weaving through the rustic scenery of rice paddies and farmland, enjoy stops along the way to learn from friendly local families the art of mat weaving, farming and how to make (and sample) the perfect “banh dap” (rice cracker). Arriving at a small village, a pit-stop will be made at a local café maker to fuel up on local drip-coffee before conquering the bamboo bridge that spans the river to the opposite bank. Arrive at Duy Hai market and harbor.

Finally, you cross the newly built Cua Dai Bridge in time to enjoy a delicious seafood lunch (included) on the shores of the beautiful Ha My beach. (Subject to season)

The tour will end around 1:00pm at the hotel.


Sunday 15 Oct 17  
HOIAN – DANANG  – HANOI

After a morning at your leisure, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. Upon arrival, your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for check-in.

Suggestion flightVN1540/10:00 – 11:00 (current schedule, subjected to change).

This afternoon, free at leisure.


Monday 16 Oct 17
HANOI – FULL DAY CITY TOUR                                                  

08:30 depart your hotel for the Temple of Literature. In 1076, Vietnam’s first university Quoc Tu Giam, was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.

Visit the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049, next. This structure is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam (view from outside), Ho Chi Minh, and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary. 

Continue to picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700 meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism.

Enjoy lunch with the finest traditional Vietnamese food with inspired contemporary cuisine at Home Restaurant. Set within a former French residence in the charming Truc Bach neighborhood, Home is the unique Vietnamese restaurant situated between the historic labyrinth of the old trading quarter and the expansive serenity of West Lake.

In the afternoon, visit the highly acclaimed Vietnam Women’s Museum. The museum is located near Hoan Kiem Lake and offers wonderful insight into the lives of Vietnamese women.  Displays highlight Vietnam’s vast cultural diversity and educate on the significant role Vietnamese women play in Vietnamese society.  Learn historic and modern-day traditions centered around births, weddings, motherhood, spirituality and more.

At the end of the afternoon visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter also known as the ‘36 streets’. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It’s a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around you.


Tuesday 17 Oct 17
HANOI –STREET FOOD WALKING TOUR           

One of the best ways to discover Vietnam and to understand Vietnamese culture is to get to know more about its food. Vietnamese food is one of the most diverse in the world, and without any doubts one of the tastiest. In Hanoi, from markets to food stalls, and to coffee shops, food is everywhere. Follow us on this tour to discover the small streets and alleys of old Hanoi, and get a bite of some local delights.

Depart your hotel at 09:30 start the day at one of the inner city’s finest local “pho”, Vietnam’s national dish. Large choices of “pho bo” (beef noodle soup) and “Pho ga” (chicken noodle soup). Continue to one of city last remaining ‘wet markets’ where a huge array of produce is sold. In the morning the market is abuzz with shoppers buying what they need for the day’s meals. Everything from fresh tropical fruits, an abundance of fragrant herbs, fresh meats, fresh flowers and even live fish and frogs are sold!  Vietnamese cuisine is highly regarded as one of the world’s best, but few realize the variations that are found in the cuisine. At the market, sample some of the available dishes for a second snack today. Then walk through the backstreets where small vendors set up their stalls along the road. Take a rest whilst enjoying some excellent street food including “banh xeo”, and “bun cha” (fresh rice noodles with grilled pork and herbs) or “hoa qua dam” (fresh fruits). Walk down the Old Quarter’s corners, and enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee or tea before returning to your hotel. (L/D)


Wednesday 18 Oct 17
HANOI – HALONG BAY JOIN IN 2 DAYS 1 NIGHT                

The scenery of Halong Bay where thousands of limestone islands jut out of the emerald sea, sculpted into bizarre shapes is truly an iconic image for Vietnam. An overnight boat trip is the best way to enjoy this Vietnamese must-see. After breakfast, 08:00 leave Hanoi for a 3hr30mins drive to Halong Bay including a 20-minutes stop on the way.

Arrive at your jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After your welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board.

Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.

Notes:


Thursday 19 Oct 17
HALONG –  HANOI – BANGKOK                                                

The sun rises on Halong in the morning and breakfast is served (also brunch on some boats) while the vessels cruises slowly back towards port. Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi for departure flight to Bangkok.

Flight suggestion: QR835/17:30 – 19:15 (currents schedule, subject to change)

You will be greeted at the aircraft door or before you enter the terminal area, and escorted to a VIP line or zone area, where you are fast-tracked through the immigration, helped with your bag, escorted through customs and taken to your driver.

After retrieving your luggage continue on to the Arrivals hall and look to the LEFT to find your guide holding a signboard with your name in a designated area for guides. Afterward, you will be transferred from Suvarnabhumi Airport to your Bangkok hotel accompanied by your guide in the comfort of a private, air conditioned vehicle.


Friday 20 Oct 17
BANGKOK                                                                                      

Pick up at 08.00

Bangkok’s bustling streets serve up a captivating array of sights and scenes for the curious traveler. This ‘city safari’ tour allows guests to spend the day as a local, using public transport to explore the many and varied aspects of everyday life in the Thai capital.

Early risers can take the opportunity to stroll through Lumpini Park and witness locals taking their morning tai chi, yoga and aerobics classes, before returning to the hotel for breakfast. The day’s adventures will then begin with a ride on the city’s Sky train, transporting guests to the Chao Phraya River. A public boat, often used by Bangkok commuters, then continues upstream to the twin treasures of Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. The guide will suggest a nearby restaurant for lunch, note that lunch is not included in the tour.

In the afternoon, guests can take a Tuk Tuk to Soi Ban Batra, where a handicraft family is famed for the art making monk’s alms bowls and selling them, before boarding a “bus boat” for a journey along the historical Saen Saeb canal. Following a trip to Jim Thompson’s House Museum, which showcases the history of the famous and mysterious American silk merchant, the day ends with some retail therapy at Bangkok’s vast shopping malls. Return to your hotel by approx. 17.00.

When the evening crawls in, Bangkok really comes alive, and just about every street is filled with great smell of delicious food that really delights your taste bud. And one of Bangkok’s best kept secrets is Chinatown, the neighborhood internationally renowned for the city’s longest street food. So getting on this tour, you will be taken to explore the backstreets as well as discover the bright lights and energy of Chinatown’s electric Yaowarat Street where you will be introduced to the history of the area and some of the area’s favorite street food artisans. Here, you will bite into various kinds of food, from famous Chinese dumplings, peppered pork noodles, Chinese donuts, and so on. Also, enjoy sweet Chinese desserts and visit a tea shop house. Once the tour ends, you will then have learned why Chinatown has some of Bangkok’s best kept secrets! Return to your hotel by approx. 21.00.


Saturday 21-Oct-17
BANGKOK – SAMUT SONGKHRAM

Just a short drive from the bustling streets of Bangkok, the high-rise urban landscape dissolves into a lush green rural idyll. This full-day trip to Samut Songkhram Province, only an hour outside the capital, allows guests to experience the traditional charms of the Thai countryside.
Pick up at 07.00

The day starts with a trip to a local railway station where a bustling country market has sprouted up along the tracks. When a train pulls in or out of the station, the vendors quickly clear their stalls, only to set them up again moments later when the train has passed! From here, the journey continues to the Tha Kha Floating Market** where narrow wooden boats line the canals, filled with fresh fruit and other local produce.

A relaxing boat ride through the labyrinth of canals offers the chance to stop and visit a friendly local family who produce palm sugar syrup, before the tour continues to a local Buddhist temple and the King Rama II Memorial Park, with its ornate collection of Thai-style pavilions. This rural excursion is rounded off with a visit uncovering the exquisite hand-painted Benjarong porcelain of a nearby pottery village, and for visits falling on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the tour’s end will be spiced up with an exploration of the weekend evening floating market


Sunday 22-Oct-17
SAMUT SONGKHRAM – KANCHANABUR

This morning, drive to Kanchanaburi and visit Thailand-Burma Railway Center Museum and stroll through the historical lanes in the Pak Preak community, lined with charming shop houses built during the reign of King Rama V.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant

Afterwards, take a one-hour drive (80km) to the north-western part of the city. Visit the Hellfire Pass Museum before embarking on a trek through the nearby canyon. The walk along the Memorial Walking Trail overlooks the hills of Myanmar. A free audio guide, narrated by former POWs, is provided to help guests understand the conditions endured by those working on the line during World War II.


Monday  23-Oct-17  
KANCHANABURI

After breakfast, depart for Erawan Waterfall – a beautiful seven-tiered waterfall. Located in Erawan National Park, the best time to visit is during rainy season from May until September. Guests will be able to walk up to each tier of these picturesque falls, so it is best to bring good walking shoes. Also guests should remember to bring their swimming suit so they can cool off in the falls’ natural pools. Then continue by car through the national park area to Phra That Cave – a large mountain cave filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites.

After lunch, take a short train ride along the infamous ‘death railway’ through Kwai Noi gorge.

After the ride, transfer to your resort.


Tuesday 24-Oct-17
KANCHANABURI – BANGKOK – CHIANG MAI

Guests will be transferred to the Suvarnabhumi Airport accompanied by their guide in the comfort of a private, air conditioned vehicle.

Flight: Bangkok – Chiang Mai by PG219 (1700-1815)

Guests will be transferred from Chiang Mai Airport to their Chiang Mai Hotel accompanied by their guide in the comfort of a private, air conditioned vehicle.


Wednesday 25-Oct-17
CHIANG MAI

Pick up at 07.30.

Located in a beautiful valley on the edge of Doi Suthep National Park, Patara Elephant Farm was founded in 2000 to operate an elephant breeding program. With the conservation philosophy “Extinction is Forever”, Patara Elephant Farm encourages people to experience this very special animal in a meaningful way.

Throughout the day, experience the life of a mahout (elephant owner), learning how to approach elephants in the bush, unchain, feed, and bathe them. Once your elephant is ready, enjoy an exciting 1 hour bareback ride through rice paddy fields to a waterfall with a picnic lunch served in the jungle. Ride back to the farm, say goodbye to your pachyderm friend, before returning to Chiang Mai. Return to your hotel by 16.30.

Pick up at 17.00

Chiang Mai really comes alive at night, and this tour allows guests to experience the social and spiritual sides of this charming city after dark.

The evening starts at a local temple where the monks gather for their nightly prayer chants. Guests can take part in this deeply sacred ritual by lighting incense and candles, to ensure an unforgettable and otherworldly experience.

Dinner is then served at the stunning Rachamankha, inspired by the courtyard architecture of ancient Chinese dwellings, and serving an exquisite selection of Lanna, Burmese and Shan cuisine, before guests are transported to the colorful Waroros Market. This bustling night market is the hub of local life in Chiang Mai, with fresh food and flower stalls offering an intoxicating mix of sights, sounds and smells.

Here, guests will be able to sample some local Thai delicacies, providing a sweet end to an enchanting evening. Return to your hotel by 21.00.


Thursday  26-Oct-17
CHIANG MAI DEPARTURE

Your morning is at leisure

Pick up at 15.00

As the former capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom, with a history dating back to the 13th Century, Chiang Mai is a city that rewards the curious explorer.

This journey of discovery starts with a trip to some of Chiang Mai’s most ancient attractions, including the old city walls, gates, moats and markets.

Chiang Mai’s cityscape is also studded with temples, and this tour uncovers the most spectacular of these spiritual sites. Wat Suan Dok is the place where the ashes of Chiang Mai’s Royal family are interred, while Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is arguably the most sacred site in Northern Thailand and features the Shrine of the White Elephant.

This spectacular temple, with its collection of golden stupas, is best visited in the late afternoon, when the tourist buses have already left and the low sun glints and glimmers off the temple’s golden spires.

Before the day ends, guests can attain their own spiritual bliss with a private blessing ceremony and the chance to experience the magical evening chanting of the monks. Return to your hotel by 19.00.

Leisure time until departure.

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 19.30 and accompany you during the transfer by air-conditioned vehicle to Chiang Mai Airport and assist you with the check-in at the airport.

Flight: TBA 


Head home with memories to last a lifetime!