Vietnam & Cambodia

Description

We invite you to join us on a wonderful journey through Vietnam and then a brief extension to Cambodia to visit Angor Wat and the surrounding area.  The tour will be personally escorted throughout Vietnam by a local English speaking guide.

 

Vietnam and Cambodia have emerged as one of the most fashionable destinations in SE Asia. On this tour we combine the highlights with some of the finest accommodation and services available in the region. The perfect blend of culture, adventure, relaxation and luxury create the ideal experience to satisfy even the most discerning of travelers.

Tour Highlights:

   •    Gentle walks through stunning landscapes of river valleys, jungles, Buddhist temples and villages

   •    Cruise in the stunning UNESCO Heritage site of Halong Bay

   •    Visit the picturesque town of Hoi An

   •    River trip on the Mekong Delta

   •    Visit to the infamous Cu Chi tunnels outside of Saigon

   •    Walk amongst the ruins of Angkor Wat

   •    Deluxe boutique-style accommodation surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens

Itinerary

01

Arrive in Hanoi

Upon arrival in Hanoi. You are welcomed by our English tour guide at the airport and then transfer to your hotel for check in.

The rest of time is at leisure until attending a traditional water puppet show, a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form especially designed for depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. Enjoy Welcome dinner at local restaurant.  Overnight in Hanoi

02

Full day sightseeing of Hanoi

This morning meet your guide atbuilt on stilts, is surrounded by lovely peaceful gardens. In the same complex you will see the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi.

Your tour continues to Hoa Lo as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the American war). Your next   Constructed in 1070, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past.  Enjoy lunch at a KOTO restaurant. It's a great place to explore, especially on foot, with plenty of photo opportunities all around you.

***(know one, teach one), a not-for-profit restaurant and vocational training program which is changing the lives of disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. Young people with few options receive training in the hospitality industry; the courses are complemented with classes in important life skills as well as the English language. At the restaurant the trainees have the opportunity to work as a team and interact with the customers, which helps to develop their skills and increase their confidence. Dinner & overnight in Hanoi.

03

Drive from Hanoi to Hoa Bonh to Mai Chau

After breakfast you depart Hanoi for Hoa Binh province and the town of Mai Chau. This scenic drive takes around three hours. Along the way we pass fields of tapioca and sugar cane as well as rice paddies.

Arrive in Mai Chau. Welcome drink and cold/hot towel to be served, followed by an appetizing lunch. The fresh, tasty dishes on offer include local vegetable, ingredients and flavors such as green bean, black mushroom, fish and chicken cooked in Muong or Thai ethnic minority style. Inafternoon, Start your journey to discover the interesting surroundings and ethnic minority tribes with a 2hour relaxing walk to Thái villages of Pom Coong and Lac and explore Mo Luong cave on the other side of the hotel.  Complement your experience by sampling delicacies from the local region during dinner time and enjoy the performance by local troupe of ethnic minority Muong and Thai people. It is so relaxing to watch the exotic dances featuring the flower, land-scape and daily agriculture cultivating activities and sweet dating songs in the fresh mountain air.

Overnight in Mai Chau.

04

Drive Mai Chau to Hanoi

The Morning starts with a visit to Soldier Cave located in front of the Lodge. Afterward is the drive to Salinh Village. The village is inhabited by the H’mong hill tribe located 1,000m above the sea level. You will feel the cool breeze brushing against your face during the two hour walk through the green mountain peppered with plums, animals and wildlife. Picnic lunch to be served in the H’Mong family in Paco village. After lunch, you will bid farewell to the host and make your walk back to the driver for a transfer back to Hanoi.

Dinner & Overnight in Hanoi

 

05

Drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay and overnight on cruise

Your early morning departure from your hotel to Halong Bay takes you on a journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta. You observe everyday life of Vietnamese Villages as you see villagers work the local rice fields, take live pigs to market on bicycles or motorbikes, and plough the fields with their large water buffaloes. Welcome on board of cruise and set sail through bay while lunch is served. Passage into the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth.  After lunch, take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with Halong Ginger golden sails, go swimming on a quite beach or sunbathing on the sundeck. Later afternoon, visit an interesting fishing village with opportunity to interact with fishmen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations.

At sunset time, kayak or symply take a bamboo row boat to discover a water tunnel with many coral reefs in a scenic lagoon. Back on board, enjoy cocktails while watching sunset and later unwind at luxury restaurant.   Overnight on a boat in Halong.

06

Drive from Halong to Hanoi and fly to Danang

Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise with an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, visit beautiful limestone grotto then back to the boat for a final glimpse of the Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Upon disembarkation you will be met and transferred straight to Noi Bai airport for late afternoon to Danang. Upon arrival in Danang airport, travel to Hoi An ancient town for accommodation. Overnight in Hoi An.

 

07

Exploration of Hoi An

Today, take your through Hoi An, once a major Asian trading port in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Hoi An’s architecture and relaxed lifestyle have changed little over the years. Take a leisurely walking tour of the ancient town center and visit the sites of former merchants’ homes, a 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and a Chinese Communal Hall.

Your last stop will be at a Lantern workshop, visit the house of an old craftman where you will have a brief introduction to the history, shape, and color of the lanterns as well as the many stages of making them. You can make your own lantern and keep it as a souvenir.

Before you return to your hotel enjoy browsing and shopping in the one of the most colourful local marketplaces in all of SE Asia.

Complete your day with a dinner at Red Bridge Restaurant which located in the Bank of Thu Bon River. Overnight in Hoi An.

08

Drive from Hoi An to Hue

You will depart Hoi An for Hue via Danang, the guide and driver will take you over the beautiful Hai Van Pass - Vietnam's geographical and psychological boundary between north and south. The peak of the pass lies perpetually shrouded in clouds. Stop en route at the beautiful Non Nuoc Beach and the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. In Danang you will visit the Marble Mountains, five sacred hills containing dozens of Buddhist shrines before proceeding to Hue.  In 1687 the Viets made Hue their capital, and continued their expansion into Cham territory. It remained the capital under the Nguyen dynasty, which had thirteen emperors, the last of whom ruled until 1945. Hue is still the intellectual capital of Vietnam with 12 schools of higher learning.  It maintained its cultural identity while other cities were accumulating foreign influences. The Nguyen dynasty left an Imperial city of citadels, palaces, tombs and temples set in the peaceful countryside bordering the Perfume River. Hue today has regained its royal demeanor and is a calm, peaceful and relaxed place to visit. The remaining French colonial garden houses and villas, quiet streets, riverbanks, and outlying tombs and pagodas that escaped damage - all give Hue a unique atmosphere of tranquillity. Overnight in Hue.

09

Exploration of Hue

Depart your hotel this morning for your full day tour of Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. A boat trip on the romantically named Perfume River takes you by tranquil settings of gardens and lakes where Hue’s best-known religious sites, the Thien Mu Pagoda and drive to visit the mausoleum of former Emperor Minh Mang are located.  Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before you continue your tour to the elaborate mausoleums of Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh and the Imperial Citadel, from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945.  

Dinnerat Phan Thuan An: Dine at the private home of the Hue well-known historian, Mr. Phan Thuan An, a descendant of the former Royal court of Hue.  The home is the private residence of a princess of the Royal court.  Phan Thuan An is a renowned historian of the Royal court and you will see numerous artifacts on display in his home.

Overnight in Hue.

10

Fly Hue to Saigon and Mekong Delta Cruise

Departy Hue for Saigon by a short flight. Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport travel to Caibe. 

On arrival drive directly to Cai Be, deep in the heart of the Mekong Delta. Embark on your private deluxe junk boat, the Cai Be Princess or Mekong Queen, and cruise to the colourful Cai Be floating market.  Your tour continues with a visit to local home factory which produces rice paste, rice pop corn and coconut candies. Continue cruising to the evergreen islands, located in the Mekong River, through large networks of meandering rivers which are crisscrossed with countless canals. Enjoy an included relaxing lunch in a local restaurant before boarding the Cai Be Princess or Mekong Queen again and slowly cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep and An Binh islands as you take in the beautiful landscapes and observe typical rural life on the Mekong Delta. Tour will end at Cai Be pier. Return to Saigon late this afternoon.  Overnight in Saigon. 

11

Saigon to Cuchi Tunnels by speedboat

Today’s half day tour takes you to visit the world famous Cu Chi Tunnels.  The incredible underground tunnel network was constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during their long struggle for independence. The tunnels are evidence of the tremendous ingenuity and resourcefulness that are characteristic of the Vietnamese. You’ll see the secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms. The more adventurous may explore the deeper second, and even third level tunnels. If you prefer to remain above ground, there is ample opportunity to view excavated areas from above. Our guide will advise us of the length and level of difficulty of each tunnel before entering - some are easily accessed by stairs.

Return to your hotel.  Afternoon at leisure until guide picks you up for dinner. Overnight in Saigon.

12

Sightseeing of Saigon. Fly Saigon to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Depart your hotel this morning on half day city tour of Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals.  This dynamic city has a unique life of its own.  Visit the city’s bustling Chinatown (Cholon) which begins with a stop at Thien Hau Temple. From the temple take a short drive by CYCLO to the lively Binh Tay Market, Hai THuong Lan Ong streets that famous for  selling herbal and traditional medicines before (if clients wish) visiting a lacquer ware factory where workers continue a Vietnamese ancestral tradition. Drive to visit Vietnam's first traditional medicine museum, the FITO Museum, will be visited next, displaying an amazing collection of 3,000 items relevant to the development of  traditional Vietnamese medicine. Implements used to prepare indigenous herbs, objects commonly found in traditional pharmacies as well as ancient books and documents on traditional Vietnamese medicine can be seen in the galleries.   

Head back into the centre of the city to visit Ben Thanh Market where an incredible display of fresh produce is offered. Simply stroll through the market seeing and enjoying the variety of goods for sale.

Enjoy a light lunch at Wrap & Roll Restaurant before transferred to Tan Son Nhat airport for flight onward to Siem Reap.

Welcome to Siem Reap! Your tour begins when you are warmly welcomed by our English tour guide at the airport. After you have collected your luggage he will then take you to your hotel for check in. Dinner at local restaurant.   Overnight at hotel Siem Reap

13

Exploration of Ankor Thom and Angor Wat

In the morning, visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century) the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Phimeanakas, the Royal Enclosure, the Elephants Terrace, and the Terrace of the Leper King.  Lunch at local restaurant.

In the afternoon, visit the most famous of all temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodia flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture, and visit Bakheng Temple enjoying a romantic sun set view form Bakheng Hills.

In the evening, you will enjoy dinner and Apsara Dinner Show.  Apsara Dancing is one of the biggest attractions for visitors to Siem Reap after the Angkor temples and it is on most visitors list of things to do. There a number of places in Siem Reap to see Apsara Dancing now and most of these places are restaurants which provide a buffet style meal and a dance show. Apsara Dancing is definitely worth seeing and it is a nice evening out in Siem Reap.

Stay overnight at a hotel in Siem Reap

14

Exploration of Banteay Srei and Ta Prohm

In morning, we travel through the traditional village of Preah Dark to the 12th century temple of Banteay Samre. Built by King Suryavarman II, the genius behind Angkor Wat, this temple has been extensively restored. The temple is unique in that over-quarrying of sandstone led to the use of laterite for the roofed corridors. The pediments above the inner doors here include some of the most accomplished carving from the Angkor period.

We continue further north to Banteay Srei, Angkor’s ultimate art gallery. This petite pink temple is the jewel in the crown of Angkor-era sculpture. The elaborate carvings here are the finest found in Cambodia and the name translates as ‘Fortress of the Women’, thanks to the intricate detail here, considered too fine for the hands of a man. Originally believed to date from the latter part of the Angkor period, inscriptions at the site suggest it was built by a Brahman in 967. However, some architectural historians have suggested that the inscriptions may date from an earlier structure on this site and the temple is in fact later, marking a high-water mark in Khmer sculpture. Lunch at local restaurant. 

In the afternoon, visit Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples. Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool (representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake), Ta Som, built in late 12th century C.E. the most distant temple on the grand circuit, small but classic. Preah Khan temple, Built by the King Jayavarman VII.

Dinner at local restaurant. Stay overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.

15

International departure

Your final day starts with breakfast at the hotel followed by check-out. You will then be transferred to the airport for your final departure.

Dates

Price Guide & Trip Facts

  • From
    $5200

    Single supplement US$1925. includes all meals and internal flights

 

Departure Dates

  • 28th Nov 2016 To 12th Dec 2016

 
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