The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. Vietnam accepted the convention on 19 October 1987, making its natural and cultural sites eligible for inclusion on the list. As of 2021, there are eight World Heritage Sites in Vietnam, including five cultural sites, two natural sites, and one mixed. Vietnam holds the second-highest number of World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia with nine sites.
The Complex of Huế Monuments was the first site in Vietnam to be inscribed on the list at the 17th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Colombia in 1993. Two cultural sites from Quảng Nam were listed in 1999: Hội An Ancient Town and Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary. Hạ Long Bay and Phong Nha – Kẻ Bàng National Park were listed as natural sites in 1994 and 2003, respectively, before receiving the extension on the criteria for exceptional geological and geomorphologic values by the World Heritage Committee in 2000 and 2015.[a][b] The Central Sector of Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long was inscribed in 2010, coinciding with the Millennial Anniversary of the Thăng Long capital. The most recent site added was Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex in 2016, the first mixed site in Southeast Asia.
After being recognized, the sites became popular tourist attractions. They are also considered to be driving forces behind the growth of tourism in the country. According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Tràng An was the most popular World Heritage Site in Vietnam, attracted more than 6 million visitors and raised 867.5 million VND in 2019 alone. In addition to its World Heritage Sites, Vietnam also maintains seven properties on its tentative list.
Arrival to Hanoi, greetings, pick up and transfer to hotel for checking in (check in time 8am). Afternoon, we visit Hanoi city tour to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to explore the architectural and historical aspects of Uncle Ho’s final resting-place. Then visit the Temple of Literature, built in honor of Confucius by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong in 1070, which is also used to be the first university of Vietnam in the 11th century. Then continue on to the Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda at West Lake (One of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam). Visiting. Hanoi Opera House – One of the most spectacular colonial buildings in Hanoi, then go to Hoan Kiem lake– the heart of Hanoi city & Walk in Old quarter. Overnight in hotel in Hanoi.
Today we leave Hanoi to Halong bay "Dragon Descending to the Sea". Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful and impressive sights in Vietnam. Ha long Bay has twice been recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Area for its exceptional scenic beauty and one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Upon arrival, we will embark to an overnight Cruise; Check in your beautiful room with ocean view from your bed. Have Sea food Lunch at cruise’s luxury restaurant while the cruise goes around grottoes, floating villages and beaches on Ha Long bay... Stop for Swimming, Kayaking if weather permitted. Have dinner on board. Overnight on board. Note: Cruise program may be difference between cruises Lunch and Dinner on Cruise with International Food
Early morning experience Tai Chi exercise on the top deck of the Cruise or enjoy sunrise behind mountains on the bay. Having light breakfast and continue the cruise to see other part of Halong Bay. Lunch would be served on boat when you are close to the harbor. Disembark at 11.00 am & Our bus is already waiting for you at the marina to take you back to Hanoi, we leave Halong Bay and reach to Hanoi around 15h30. Overnight in Hanoi Note: Cruise program may be difference between cruises Breakfast and Brunch on Cruise
Morning, breakfast at hotel then transfer to airport for flight to Hochiminh City. Arrive in Hochiminh, greeted at the airport and transferred to the city centre& check in hotel (check in time from 2pm on ward). Afternoon, visit The Reunification Palace: This is one of the most important buildings in the city; War Remnants Museum: Formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes, this is a poignant display of the futility of war; Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office: Built between 1877 and 1883 this is one of the best examples of classical French colonial architecture.Ben Thanh Market: This bustling market is very popular with tourists, primarily due to its central location. It has a wide selection of goods ranging from fake Nike shoes to beautiful silk Ao Dais. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city Note: Airfare is not included
Morning, we will drive overland to Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground network constructed by Vietnamese guerrillas to protect the region against the American attacks during the Vietnam War. We can even crawl a part inside the tunnel, visit their infirmary, kitchen.... to discover how people had survived hereby. Back to Hochiminh city in the afternoon and free to discover city by your own way. Overnight in Hochiminh city.
Morning transfer to airport for flight to Siem Reap.Arrive Siem Reap, Siem Reap – Treasure of the Kingdom of Cambodia, special welcome to everybody, a moment of courtesy. You meet your guide and transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Siem Reap Note: Airfare is not included
Breakfast at hotel, Continue tour to ANGKOR THOM covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a walland wide moats; the city includes many of Angkor's most popular sights. Enter by the monumentalSOUTH GATE over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giantnaga. Continue to the TERRACE OF THE ELEPHANTS and the TERRACE OF THE LEPER KINGS, formerspaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas reliefs. Visit the ruined BAPHUON, ROYALENCLOSURE 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 basreliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where you will find giant stone facessmiling enigmatically down at you from every angle. Afternoon crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, ANGKOR WAT TEMPLE is the national symbol and thehighlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of theAngkor temples, 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, ascendthrough a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautifulviews back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. Visit TA PROHM TEMPLE, one ofthe most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks verymuch as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbledacross them. Overnight in Siem Reap.
We embark on an amazing journey to the unexplored and beautiful lush mountain region of the north. Phnom Kulen, the holiest mountain in Cambodia. Kulen is no doubt the mount the most sacred of Cambodia, a very active pilgrimage place and a picnic destination for Khmer families. Few foreigners visit this magnificent place making this destination very unique . A one hour and half drive from Siem Reap, we pass through local villages, farms lands, rice fields and temples taking us to a trail through dense jungle leading to the top of the mountain . Here stands Preah Ang Thom, a 16th century Buddhist monastery notable for the giant reclining Buddha carved into the top of a 20m boulder. We climb the wooden staircase to a landing that surrounds the 17m long Buddha, where monks and believers bow, burn incense and leave fruits. We continue downstream to the magnificent series of tiered waterfalls. The waters hold special religious significance for Hindus, thanks to the hundreds of phallic images carved into the sandstone floors along the shady brook area. Having the opportunity to walk right into the shallow river to photograph the sculptures and underwater carvings is simply amazing. The river then drops about 4 m to a landing where court officials once bathed. Beyond that, the water cascades another 20 m and creates a pool where the masses once washed. We head further out through rural countryside to the small but beautiful temple of Banteay Srey . This temple is largely built of pink sandstone, a harder rock that can be more elaborately carved and better survives the rigors of time . This is an opportunity to capture some good photographs of the clear and detailed carvings
Breakfast at hotel. We travel back in time to one of the earliest capitals in the Angkor area, Hariharilaya, now known as Roluos. We begin with a visit to the brick temple of Lolei, originally set on an island in the centre of the Indratataka baray (reservoir). This temple has some well preserved sandstone carvings and the vast stone doors are carved from a single piece of stone. We continue to Preah Ko (sacred cow), named in honour of Shiva’s mount, Nandin. This temple owes more to the pre-Angkorian brick sanctuaries of Cambodia’s earlier Chenla Empire than the sandstone behemoths that came later. Originally coated in stucco and painted, there is still some of the ancient plaster visible on the rear towers. Finally, we encounter Bakong, the earliest of the Temple Mountains, which later became the signature of Khmer kings. It is a giant pyramid, its cardinal points marked by giant elephants. We climb to the summit for views over the surrounding countryside. For those that are interested, we can offer a short diversion to the small country town of Roluos, a world away from the circus of Siem Reap. Only 10 minutes from Angkor, we help you discover the real Cambodia. This afternoon, we travel to the mighty temple of Preah Khan or “Sacred Sword” built by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12 th century. Sister temple to Ta Prohm, the cruciform corridors here are impressive and there are some wonderful carvings adorning the walls, including the spectacular hall of dancers. Look out for the curious two-storey structure that is almost Grecian in inspiration. This is one of the few temples originally dedicated to Buddhism and Hinduism. The original eastern entrance was for Mahayana Buddhists, while the other cardinal points represented the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. We then continue on to the elegant curves of Neak Poan. This petite temple is the ultimate ornamental fountain, its series of elaborate spouts including the heads of lions and elephants. Originally Neak Poan was on an island at the centre of vast baray (reservoir), known as Jayatataka or reservoir of Jaya. Transfer to Siem Reap airport for departure to next destination. It’s time to say goodbye, we thank you for traveling with us and warmly welcome you to come again.