Vietnam and Cambodia - VAC
Number of Days: 15
We start our trip in charming Hanoi, explore the fascinating Old Quarter to see the city's most beautiful French colonial architecture and its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquer ware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects…Attend a water puppet theater performance. Visit ancient temples, culture museums, and more. Spend one night on a cruise in beautiful Halong Bay, where thousands of limestone rock sculptures jut dramatically from the sea and numerous grottoes have created an ephemeral, fantastic landscape.
Next, fly from Hanoi to Hue, the former imperial capital, in central Vietnam. Visit royal tombs, the imperial Citadel, and take a cruise along the Perfume River. From Hue, depart on a coastal drive to Hoi An ancient town, an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
There will be time to relax before flying to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) for city touring and take an excursion to the network of secret tunnels in Cu Chi that were used during the Vietnam War.
Then we continue on to explore fabulous Cambodia, including Angkor Wat and the Mekong.
Vietnam and Cambodia
Day 1: Hanoi
On arrival at Hanoi's Noi Bai International airport, you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi Full Day City Tour
Today's full day of touring takes in the highlights of Hanoi. In the morning, we first drive to Ho Chi Minh's complex, including the mausoleum of the nation's founder and leader. Here, large crowds gather to pay their respects to the man they simply call Uncle Ho as they silently file past his glass sarcophagus. The Presidential Palace and Uncle Ho's wooden stilt house can also be seen here. One of must-see places in the complex is One Pillar pagoda dating back to the11th century. From a far view its shape looks like a huge lotus flower. The next stop is the Temple of Literature, the site of Vietnam's oldest university and dedicated to one of the world's most famous scholars, Confucius. Inside the temple grounds, huge steles rest on the backs of even larger stone turtles (in Vietnam's culture, the turtle represents longevity). The stele recorded the names of the successful candidates who later became mandarins in the Emperor's court. This afternoon visit to the very impressive Museum of Ethnology, among the finest of Vietnam's museums. You will see many exhibits, photographs and actual houses inhabited by the ethnic people in Vietnam. Then we enjoy a one hour cyclo tour of Hanoi’s vibrant Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake, the focal point of the city. Lastly, in the late afternoon, you will be enchanted by the legends and stories told at the Thang Long Water Puppet show.
Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise & stay overnight on Board
Following breakfast, a cruise shuttle bus picks you up from your hotel to travel to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin (approximately four hours). Arrive at your jetty in Halong City around 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. Overnight aboard on Halong Bay.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included
Day 4: Halong Bay Cruise – Hanoi
Enjoy your fresh morning wake up in the middle of the bay, the sun rises over Halong Bay and breakfast is served (brunch on some boats) while your vessel cruises slowly through the magnificent rock formations and back towards port. Disembark and transfer on the cruise shuttle bus back to Hanoi. Check-in at your hotel. Free at leisure and overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi - Hue
Today, you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Hue, a beautiful and welcoming city. Established as the capital of unified Vietnam in 1802, Hue was not only the political but also the cultural and religious center under the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. Upon arrival you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon embark on a tour of the Imperial City, which is located in the Citadel. The Imperial City was built in the early 19th century. Explore the Thai Hoa Palace, with its spacious hall and ornate roof of huge timbers supported by 80 carved and lacquered columns. See the Halls of the Mandarins, the Nine Dynastic Urns and the site where the Forbidden Purple City once stood. Overnight in Hue.
Day 6: Hue – Danang – Hoian
After breakfast at your hotel, you will board a private traditional boat for a cruise on the romantic Perfume River as you head out to the countryside. Being the ancient capital, Hue is surrounded by ancient tombs of emperors past, and a visit to some of these tombs will be on the itinerary for today. The charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) will be the first stop of the day. Continue along the river to the Royal Tombs of Minh Mang, the second emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty who reigned until 1841. The tomb blends traditional architecture with a magical natural setting, and consists of 40 constructions (palaces, temples, and pavilions). This afternoon, drive to Hoi An ancient town. The drive takes approximately 3 hours and passes through some of Vietnam’s most breathtaking landscape. En route, visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture, which contains one of the finest collections of carvings and documents and culture of the Cham people. Also visit the handicraft villages on the foot of Marble Mountain. Overnight Hoian.
Breakfast & Lunch Included
Day 7: Hoi An
Free time at the resort to enjoy the facilities and comforts of our accommodation in Hoi An, with breakfast included. Hoi An is now one of five UNESCO-designated World Heritage sites in Vietnam. For your leisure time, you are free to meander in Hoi An, unwind at Cua Dai Beach, or take an optional half day trip to My Son Cham Ruins or Tra Que village. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 8: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh
After a morning at leisure in Hoi An, you will be transferred to the airport in Danang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, where you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 9: Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City Tour
Embark on an early morning visit to the world famous Cu Chi Tunnels. Having never been discovered by American Forces during the Vietnam-American War, these tunnels stretch over 200 km and were an important base for the Viet Cong. The underground network has connecting command posts, a hospital shelter and weapon factories. This afternoon the tour starts at District One. See landmarks as the Cathedral of Notre Dame as well as the Post Office, the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville) and old Opera House. Next, stop at the War Remnants Museum, featuring collections from both Indochina wars. Conclude the day with a visit to Thien Hau, the most important Buddhist pagoda in Saigon, and then spend time shopping at Binh Tay market in Cholon (Chinatown) before returning to our hotel. Overnight Ho Chi Minh City.
Breakfast & Lunch Included
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh – Cai Be – Cho Lach – Mang Thit
This morning transfer from your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City to the town of Cai Be in the Province Tien Giang. Boarding at Cai Be at noon. Welcome drink, Introduction to the ship and crew, check into the cabins. Departure towards Cho Lach on the Tien Giang River. Lunch while en route. Relax on the deck. The Bassac slips into the Chợ Lách canal, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the river traffic, between markets and churches, a unique opportunity for a glimpse of the very varied life on the banks as well as on the water. Visit a village on the banks of river Mang Thit, and an opportunity to appreciate the way of life and hospitality of the local inhabitants. Visit of the orchard or rice fields nearby. Back on board enjoy complimentary welcome drink. Relax on the deck and enjoy the sunset. The crew will serve dinner while we cruise Mang Thit River. Then it's downstream to the little Tra On floating market. Overnight on board.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included
Day 11: Can Tho – Chau Doc
This morning we resumes our cruise to the Tra On floating market, heading towards Can Tho. On arrival in Cai Rang floating market, check out and transfer onto a local boat to visit the floating market, then a noodle factory and return to the Ninh Kieu pier. From here continue to Chau Doc - close to the Cambodian border. Accommodation at hotel Chau Doc.
Day 12: Chau Doc – Phnom Penh
Depart early this morning for the boat ride to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (at 7am). Once you reach the Cambodian border, the boat will stop to arrange your visa, which is approximately 34USD per person(your own expense). On arrival in Phnom Penh (at about 12.30), you’ll be transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. Accommodation at hotel in Phnom Penh.
Day 13: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
After breakfast, set out to explore the city's many unique highlights. Visit the elegant Royal Palace, a Khmer-styled structure constructed by the French in 1866, which stands on the site of the former citadel, Banteay Keo. Continue to the Silver Pagoda, so called because of its dazzling floor is made of 5,329 silver tiles weighing one kilogram each. The Silver Pagoda houses a broad, eclectic selection of statuary and Buddhist relics, many from the Royal collection. Also learn more about Cambodia’s past tragedy with a visit Tuol Sleng Museum.Then transfer by Express Bus) for Siem Reap. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, meet our guide and transfer to your hotel. Accommodation Siem Reap.
Day 14: Siem Reap – Angkor Wat
After breakfast, set out to explore this World Heritage city. Begin at the South Gate of Angkor Thom, an ancient royal city that covers four square miles and is the pinnacle of the Khmer obsession with vast public works. Walk through looming gates, guarded by statues of gods and demons. At the center of Angkor Thom is the Temple of Bayon, a tremendous multi-towered temple with bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology. The central tower is covered with four gargantuan heads, depicting the king as a Bodhisattva, or Buddhist deity of compassion. This image is repeated throughout the Bayon, making it one of the most striking sites at Angkor. Continue by car past the Elephant and Leper King Terraces to Preah Khan, a remarkably preserved temple, and Ta Prohm, a temple that remains completely engulfed in vines and tree roots - this is arguably the most evocative of all Angkor's many temples.
In the afternoon visit the most famous of the temples on the plain of Angkor, Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares in all and is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Enjoy a wonderful sunset from the Phnom Bakheng Hills. Dinner with dance Apsaras show at local restaurant. Overnight Seam Reap.
Breakfast & Dinner Included
Day 15: Siem Reap - Departure
Begin the day with a drive to Chong Kneas to visit the fishing village by a private boat. Cruise through the fishing villages of the Tonle Sap Lake to discover the natural splendor and old lifestyle of the country. If time permits, we will also visit the local market and artisan d’Angkor workshop. Free at leisure till transfer to Siem Reap International airport for your onward flight.
This tour includes:
- Hotel accommodation,
- The services of a tour guide,
- Entrances and touring,
- Meals as shown on the final itinerary.
This tour excludes:
- International Flights
- Travel Insurance
- Visa fees
- Personal expenses
- Any additional tour or service not specifically mentioned in the final tour itinerary.
Our groups typically include a mix of groups and solo travellers. Just because you choose to travel by yourself - you WILL NOT be travelling alone.
- From $2995 dates on application