Could the year start more beautifully? Marvel at the bizarre limestone islands of Halong Bay, where fishermen drop anchor outside the caves. Find out about the history of Vietnam in the royal city of Hue and be enchanted by French flair, rickshaws and pagodas in the unique city of Saigon. Cambodia is home to one of Asia’s most famous temples: with Angkor Wat, the Khmer created a world heritage site. Relaxing hours on the beaches of Thailand will round off this Asian kaleidoscope.
from Hong Kong to Singapore
|Cruise dates:||from 03.01.2016 to 19.01.2016 (16 days)|
| Your ship:|| MS EUROPA|
| Cruise number:|| EUR1601|
This cruise is operated in German. For individual programmes kindly ask our travel concierge.
Highlights of this cruise
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites: imperial city of Hue*, My Son temple complex*, old town of Hoi An*, temple complexes of Angkor*, Ayutthaya*
- UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site: Halong Bay
- Ho Chi Minh City: Vietnamese tradition, colonial heritage and a futuristic metropolis
- Beaches and palm trees – Koh Kood and Ko Samui
Discover the fascination of the city of Hong Kong during the pre-cruise programme*.
In the “bay of the descending dragon”, bizarre limestone karsts soar upwards out of the deep-blue sea creating rocky outcrops in which time has carved fantastic shapes. Sit back and enjoy the special atmosphere from the comfort of a boat*, visit a limestone cave and dreamily cast your eyes upon floating villages and passing dragon boats.
No fewer than three World Heritage Sites await you: follow the legends into the ancient imperial city of Hue* – here on the Perfume River, the last imperial dynasty created a monument for all eternity. It is easy to imagine what life was like at court in bygone days as you make your way between fanciful gardens and palaces ornately decorated with dragons. Stepping further back into history, we follow the trail of the Cham culture to My Son*: The ornate brick temples in the heart of the forest are decorated with intricate bas-reliefs that tell of the earlier rulers’ Hindu beliefs. In the old town of Hoi An*, the well-preserved buildings and temples are a splendid example of the former magnificence of the former trading port – you only have to take a look at the Japanese bridge to be transported back in time.
The modern town is great to explore on your own: how about a stroll around the lively Han Market or a walk along China Beach?
Enjoy the sight of the fishing boats, a legacy of the Cham dynasty. The elaborately carved towers of Po Nagar* are among the most beautiful in Vietnam and a popular Buddhist place of worship. You will also enjoy a fabulous view from the “dragon hill”, where the white Buddha of Long Son Pagoda* keeps watch over believers. Your journey along the Cai River* as far as Coconut Island will reward you with impressions of the local way of life.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)/Vietnam
Discover the charms of the “Grande Dame”: delights include not only such colonial gems as the City Post Office, but also the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the Reunification Palace. You will encounter a sad chapter in the annals of history in the form of the Cu Chi tunnel system*, a Vietcong hiding place. If you fancy sampling some Vietnamese delicacies*, then a cookery course will reveal quite a few secrets and tips. Traders make their homes in the Cholon section of the city* – Saigon’s Chinatown. Next morning you can join the local people and greet the day with some Tai Chi exercises* in the park. Refreshed and ready for the day, set out on scooters to discover the traditional villages, local markets and the green rice terraces of rural Vietnam*. Equally exotic impressions for all the senses are promised on the boat ride through the Mekong Delta*. Alternatively, set out on an overland excursion to Cambodia: the best-known symbol of the unique heritage of the Khmer people is the five exquisite lotus towers of Angkor Wat*.
Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville)/Cambodia
Cambodia looks back on a chequered past. Take the fascinating capital, Phnom Penh*, whose history you can trace as far back as 1372 when you visit the Wat Phnom* temple complex. A capital since French colonial times, here you can view the Silver Pagoda which houses a priceless altar. On the walkway walls, you will make your first encounter with the Ramayana epic*. The dramatic story of Prince Rama is also told in a show at a traditional dance theatre.
Sandy beaches, palm trees and turquoise-blue water: relax for a few hours and enjoy the fabulously beautiful bays during an independent shore visit.
Laem Chabang (Bangkok)/Thailand
In the shadow of futuristic skyscrapers, between hurrying hawkers and exotic scenes, let the pulsating “City of Angels” carry you away, with highlights including the golden pagodas at the Royal Palace* and the fabled Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaeo temple complex*. Ayutthaya* exudes a sense of sublime peace. The once magnificent centre of Siam still impresses today with its royal Summer Palace and the Chedis of Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
Millions of palm trees grow to the very edges of the white beaches that fringe the island. In the tropical heart of the island, spectacular waterfalls and a natural rock pool are the enticing and refreshing objective of your jeep tour*. Alternatively, come face to face with a monk at Wat Khunaram temple*, still seated in a meditative position years after his death.
Following a city tour, set off back to Germany – or stay a little longer for a post-cruise programme in Singapore – the multicultural city state.
Please note that our pre- and post-cruise programmes are conducted in German.
For individual programmes kindly consult your travel agent.
Following programmes we offer in German:
PRE-CRUISE PROGRAMME A: THE METROPOLIS OF HONG KONG
POST-CRUISE PROGRAMME A: SINGAPORE – THE MULTICULTURAL CITY STATE
HOTEL LANDHAUS WACHTELHOF: TWO-DAY “ATLANTIC” CRUISE ARRANGEMENT