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EXPLORE cambodia & vietnam

SIEM REAP | ANGKOR | KAMPONG CHAM | PHNOM PENH | CHAU DOC 
| HO CHI MINH CITY | HANOI |
 HA LONG BAY

With a $500 Deposit

 

October 21  NOVEMBER 4, 2024    13 NIGHTS

CAMBODIA
For over 2,000 years, Cambodia has been richly shaped by its proximity to the Indian subcontinent as well as neighboring Southeast Asian cultures. That influence led to the rise of the Khmer Empire, which would reign over the region known as Kambuja for more than six centuries and leave a lasting Hindu and Buddhist imprint. The sprawling temple complex of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an enduring testament to that age. We will also explore the country’s more recent past through the turbulence of French colonial rule, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, and the Cold War conflict involving Laos and Vietnam. Furthermore, we will visit Islamic sites and mosques and engage with Cham Muslims, an indigenous community that embraced Islam by the 17th century.
 

VIETNAM
Crossing from Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, into Vietnam, we will make our way through a beautiful landscape to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), a modern metropolis. Here we will witness contemporary Muslim life in a multicultural context, enjoy halal street food, and visit the farms and floating markets of Châu Đốc. We then take a domestic flight to the capital Hanoi in the north. From there we’ll have a cruise and overnight stay aboard a ship in the stunning Hạ Long Bay, and visit limestone caves and fishing villages. A Tai Chi class is included. The story of Vietnam, however, would be incomplete without confronting how partition and wars ravaged the nation, especially for those who were forced into diasporic lives of exile. To this end, we’ll visit important national sites that represent the contested past. At the same time, we’ll also learn of how the long struggle in Vietnam became an enduring icon of resistance and liberation for other anticolonial movements, including for Muslims across the world. 

faculty guide

Dr. Martin Nguyen

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ITINERARY IN CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM

The program officially begins midday on Wednesday, Oct. 23. In order to arrive in Siem Reap before then by Tuesday evening or night on Tuesday, Oct. 22, participants from North America should depart from their origin city on Sunday, Oct. 20 or earlier.

                             SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20

                             MONDAY, OCTOBER 21 

DAY 1                  TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22

DAY 2                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23

DAY 3                 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24             

DAY 4                 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25                  

DAY 5                 SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26            

DAY 6                 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27                 

DAY 7                 MONDAY, OCTOBER 28               

DAY 8                 TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29               

 

DAY 9                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30         

DAY 10               THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31             

DAY 11                FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1                  

DAY 12               SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2          

DAY 13               SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3               

DAY 14               MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4              

DEPARTING  FROM US GATEWAYS

CROSS INTERNATIONAL LINE DATE

ARRIVE IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

FLOATING VILLAGE / MASJID RAFEEAH / WELCOME DINNER

ANGKOR WAT HERITAGE SITE / NIGHT MARKET

MUSEUM / MASJID NEAK MAH / KAMPONG CHAM AREA

 

CHAM VILLAGE / PHNOM PENH / GENOCIDE MUSEUM / MEKONG RIVER WALK

CHEUNG EK KILLING FIELDS / MASJID AL-SERKAL / FERRY TO CHAU DOC & CROSSING TO VIETNAM

KCHAU DOC / MY THO / MEKONG FISH & BEE FARMS

 

HO CHI MINH CITY / PALACE / MUSEUM / FORMER US EMBASSY BUILDING / SAIGON CENTRAL MOSQUE / CITY TOUR

 

CU CHI TUNNELS / MOSQUE / BENH THAN MARKET

FLIGHT TO HANOI / HO CHI MINH COMPLEX / PALACE

FREE TIME IN HANOI / MASJID AL-NOOR / LIMESTONE CAVES

HA LONG BAY SCENIC DRIVE / OVERNIGHT CRUISE

TAI CHI CLASS / VILLAGES / RETURN TO HANOI

FREE TIME / TRANSFER TO HANOI AIRPORT

This robust itinerary includes a train excursion and an internal domestic flight along with transport by private A/C coach

With a $500 Deposit

BAYAN TOURS .png

Bayan has been offering faculty-led tours to world heritage destinations since 2017, with recurring tours to Southern Spain, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jerusalem & Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Senegal/Gambia, with exciting new destinations being planned in the coming years.

 

WHY JOIN A BAYAN TOUR?

Tours offered by Bayan cater to the diverse interests and needs of families, while offering an exceptional educational and cultural program. Each tour is led by one or more faculty members who provide daily background lectures and insights about the historical and contemporary contexts. Local guides are utilized as well at various points in time. The itinerary is crafted by experienced personnel to maximize your enjoyment and satisfaction. While the scheduled program is robust, ample time is provided to explore on your own, shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs, and enjoy some leisure activities. Bayan’s tour group size is typically up to 35 participants.

TOUR information

Tour pricing (Land package only)

All pricing is double occupancy.  International airfare is not included.

 

AdultS                                    $2,995

minors (8-17)                     $2,795

single supplement          $900

land PACKAGE INCLUSIONS

  • Airport transfers in Siem Reap on Oct. 22/23 and in Hanoi on Nov. 4

  • 13 nights hotel (4* and above)

  • Ground transportation by private A/C coach

  • Internal flight from Ho Chin Minh to Hanoi

  • Ha Long Bay overnight boat cruise

  • All entrance fees for scheduled sites

  • Daily breakfast + 1 welcome dinner

  • Daily commentary/discussions with faculty guide(s)

  • English-speaking local guide(s)

 

EXCLUSIONS​​​

  • ​​International “multi-city” airfare arriving in Cambodia and departing from Vietnam (budget about $1,300 round-trip per person from US gateways), and applicable baggage fees

  • Tourist entry visa fee (US passport holders need a visa for both Cambodia and Vietnam)

  • Local bus, taxi, metro fares during optional excursions

  • Gratuities for driver(s) and local guide(s)

  • Additional meals/beverages

  • Personal items

  • Hotel incidental charges,  hotel porters and other individualized services

  • Urgent care, medical treatment and testing, related expenses

  • Covid-19 testing costs (if required for entry or return to country of origin)

  • Travel insurance (recommended)

With a $500 Deposit

 

international travel arrangements

Arriving to Cambodia (Siem Reap)

Participants should book “multi-city” flights for this tour, as you will arrive in Cambodia and depart from Vietnam. Several Asian airlines provide service via various transit cities such as Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, and Taipei, among others. Depending on the carrier and pricing, your journey may involve 1 or 2 layovers for your incoming and outgoing flights. Make sure your arrival in Siem Reap, Cambodia (SAI) is on Tuesday afternoon/evening, October 22 (for travelers from the US, this may mean departing from your city of origin on Monday, October 21 or earlier). You can arrive in the early morning of Wednesday, October 23 as well and get access to your hotel room. You will be received at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The tour officially begins at 2:00pm on Wednesday, October 23 with a group orientation meeting in the hotel lobby, followed by a visit to a nearby lake, a visit to a mosque for prayer, and a welcome dinner. You may plan your travel to add extra days in transit elsewhere before or after the tour, if you wish. Initial hotel check-in for the tour is on October 22/23 in Siem Reap and final check-out is on November 4 in Hanoi.

Departing from Vietnam (Hanoi)

The tour concludes on the morning of Monday, November 4 in Hanoi and you should check out by noon or earlier. (If need be, you can depart late on the night of November 3 or early morning of November 4). A transfer will be provided to Hanoi International Airport (HAN) three hours before your flight time. If you plan to spend more time in Vietnam after the conclusion of the tour, then plan your flights, local transportation and additional hotel accommodations accordingly on your own.

Booking Your Flights

Once you’ve paid your deposit to Bayan Tours, you should book your flights as soon as possible to try and obtain well-priced airfare with suitable flight timings and layovers (choose a route with layovers of not less than 90 minutes each). It’s possible that some layovers will be quite long, while others may be relatively short. You can use your own travel agent, check airline websites, or use travel booking sites to select the flights that are best for you.

Hotels

Our tour group will stay at the following hotels:

 

  • Siem Reap: Sokchea Angkor Hotel (3 nights)

  • Kampong Cham: LBN Asian Hotel (1 night)

  • Phnom Penh: Palace Gate Hotel (1 night)

  • Châu Đốc: Victoria Châu Đốc Hotel (1 night)

  • Ho Chi Minh City: Golden Central Hotel Saigon (3 nights)

  • Hanoi: Flower Garden Hotel (3 nights)

  • Oasis Bay cruise boat (1 night)

Please note that hotels are subject to availability.

With a $500 Deposit

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

 

Siem Reap

  • Floating village on Tonlé Sap Lake

  • Masjid Ar-Rafee’ah

  • Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon ruins

  • Ta Prohm, Takeo and Preah Khan ruins

  • Night market

  • Angkor ruins at sunrise (optional)

  • Jumah at Masjid Neak Mah

 

Kampong Cham

  • Kampong village

  • Dinner with local Cham Muslim community

 

Phnom Penh

  • Capital city tour

  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

  • Mekong River walk

  • Cheung Ek Killing Fields

  • Al-Serkal Masjid

  • Ferry and border crossing

 

Chau Doc

  • Floating markets

  • Mekong Delta islands

  • Fee and bee farms

 

Ho Chi Minh City

  • Reunification Palace

  • War Remnants Museum

  • Former US Embassy site

  • Saigon Central Mosque

  • Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office

  • Jamiul Muslimin Mosque

  • Cu Chi Tunnels

  • Ben Thanh market

  • Street food market

 

Hanoi

  • Ho Chi Minh Complex

  • Presidential Palace

  • Temple of Literature

  • Jumah at Masjid Al-Noor

  • Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu ruins

  • Hanoi Old Quarter

 

Ha Long Bay

  • Ha Long Bay scenic drive

  • Cruise and lunch in Ha Long Bay

  • Kayaking activity (optional)

  • Special dinner onboard cruise

  • Tai Chi class

  • Sung Sot Cave hike

  • Who is leading the tour?
    Bayan’s vice president and professor Munir Shaikh will be the faculty escort for the tour. He holds an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in the history of Islamic Iberia (Al-Andalus), and certificates from academic programs in Morocco, Egypt and Spain. He has lived for periods of time in Spain (and Morocco), and is conversant in Spanish. He has taught academic courses on Islamic Spain, Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history, and led world heritage tours in various countries, including seven previous excursions in Southern Spain.
  • What is the expected group size?
    Bayan’s tours are focused on providing a well-rounded experience featuring scholarly knowledge, cultural exposure, recreational activities, and free time. Most tour groups are multi-generational and diverse in nature. In addition to historical and contemporary sites of interest, the itinerary includes visits to mosques and other places of worship to accommodate the religious needs of group members. Our group size tends to be in the range of 30-40 participants from North America and beyond. Participants are able to get to know one another and develop bonds of friendship and camaraderie that can last a lifetime. By participating in a tour, you are helping sustain and advance Bayan’s mission as a non-profit educational institution.
  • When is the registration deadline?
    We are accepting registrations for the tour until March 31, in order to reserve seats on a train, book sufficient hotel rooms, procure entrance tickets to monuments, and ensure other details. You must pay a refundable deposit of $500 per traveler. Deposits are partially refundable through February 15, 2024, however, a cancellation charge of $ 100 per traveler will apply for any cancellation requested 24 hours after time of booking. For other important terms and conditions, please click here. After payment of your deposit, you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance for your party, reflecting any applicable discounts. The balance payment is due no later than April 15, 2024.
  • Is a visa required for U.S. citizens to enter Spain?
    Bayan’s tours are open to participants who wish to join from anywhere in the world. However, the majority of participants tend to be from the United States. US passport holders do not need to obtain a visa to enter Spain for tourism. This is true for nationals of many other countries as well. However, non-US passport holders are encouraged to check requirements for their nationality and obtain a visa if required.
  • How physically demanding is the tour?
    Our group will be transported from city to city in a luxury air-conditioned tourist bus. However, in each city, since we will be in the historical centers where buses can't go, we will use the metro or other local public transportation, and occasional taxis, to get around. Even so, there will be a significant amount of walking on most days, on slight inclines and steps. The streets at times will have cobblestones. The walking distances involved at any given time can range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile between rest points. The guides will take into account the differing abilities and health conditions of group members and regulate the pace and intensity of the tour accordingly. Nonetheless, participants should expect to walk roughly 12,000 steps each day (about 6 miles in aggregate) during the first few days of the program, and perhaps 8,000 steps per day during the latter portion of the itinerary. This tour may not be suitable for those with knee, hip or foot pain that could be aggravated by the amount of walking involved. Ideally, all participants should prepare for the tour by walking at least 5,000 steps per day in the weeks leading up to the tour.
  • What type of food will we have on the tour?
    Spain’s food is a mix of Mediterranean and local traditions. Some dishes, such as paella, reveal their roots in Arab/Muslim cuisines. While the types of vegetarian options have grown in recent years in Spain, most local meat dishes feature pork (we will be sure to avoid any foods prepared with pork or alcohol). During the tour, we will dine at restaurants that serve zabiha halal foods, or at places that offer seafood and vegetarian options. You can expect meals to include Middle Eastern, Turkish and Moroccan dishes at restaurants run by local Muslims, and Italian and other types of dishes more generally. You’ll have the option of sampling various suitable tapas (small dishes) that are routinely consumed in neighborhood establishments..
  • Will you provide more information about the daily schedule and other details?
    Yes, all participants who have completed their full payment will receive a detailed information packet that includes descriptions of the cities and sites to be visited, the daily schedule, currency exchange, local prayer times, electrical adapters, weather, what to pack, and more.
  • What precautions are you taking with regard to COVID-19?
    We encourage participants to be fully vaccinated with at least one booster shot for all who are eligible to receive these shots. Travelers may visit Spain for tourism, but must provide either a certificate proving full vaccination, a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen), or a certificate of recovery. Travelers can enter using the EU Digital Covid Certificate or its equivalents. We do not expect to mandate masking during the tour, but we encourage masking whenever possible and according to each individual’s comfort level. For example, when shopping in crowded areas, it would be best to wear a mask. General sanitary practices should be maintained at all times, such as washing hands with soap, using sanitizing gels and wipes, and maintaining a reasonable distance between individuals.
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