One night in Hanoi, one night in Halong Bay, one night on the sleeper train, one night in Hue, two nights in Hoi An, one night in Can Tho, one night in Saigon, two nights in Phnom Penh, and three nights in Siem Reap.
Discover once-in-a-lifetime experiences, unforgettable sights, and the unique culture of Vietnam and Cambodia on this fifteen-day tour.
Explore the vibrant capital city of Hanoi, before driving to Halong Bay to board a traditional junk boat. Admire the many karst limestone islands as you sail past. Swim in a sheltered cove and row out to the Dark & Bright Lagoon.
Hanoi is next; where you can explore the 36 streets of the old quarter by cyclo and sample food from pavement vendors. Board the sleeper train to Hue and visit Thien Mu Pagoda and the Imperial Purple Palace. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Perfume River or some retail therapy at Dong Ba Market.
Travel along the Road of the Ocean Clouds towards Hoi An; stopping en-route to walk along the famous My Khe beach from the film 'Apocalypse Now'. Take a walking tour to Chua Ong Pagoda, the 200-year-old Tam Ky house, and the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and experience village life in Tra Que.
Fly to Saigon for your sampan cruise downstream from Cai Be, stopping for lunch on Dong Hoa Hiep Island. Next morning, visit Cai Ran floating market before the drive to Saigon. A walking tour highlights famous sights such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office, and War Remnants Museum.
Next stop is at the famous Cu Chi Tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the war, before a drive to the Cambodian border and the capital of Phnom Penh. Spend a day visiting the National Museum of Fine Arts, Royal Palace, and Silver Pagoda, before discovering the Pol Pot regime at Toul Sleng prison and the infamous Killing Fields.
The following day, fly to Siem Reap to explore the iconic Angkor Wat and Angkor Temple Complex and visit the temples at Banteay Srei. Spend an evening at Phare Cambodian Circus, before taking a morning drive out to Ton Le Sap Lake and Kampong Phluk with its stilt houses. Enjoy free time until your airport transfer and flight home the following day.
|Day 1||UK to Hanoi|
|Day 2||Hanoi to Halong Bay - Junk Boat Cruise on Halong Bay|
|Day 3||Halong Bay to Hanoi to Hue - Hidden Grottoes, Halong Bay|
|Day 4||Imperial Hue|
|Day 5||Road of the Ocean Clouds|
|Days 6 to 7||Tra Que Village and Free Time|
|Day 8||Hoi An to Saigon - Cruising the Mekong|
|Day 9||Can Tho to Saigon - Mekong and Saigon|
|Day 10||Saigon to Phnom Penh - Chu Chi Tunnels|
|Day 11||Royal Palaces and Crimes of Pol Pot|
|Day 12||Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat|
|Day 13||Angkor Thom and NGO Circus Project|
|Day 14||Ton Le Sap Lake|
|Day 15||Siem Reap to UK|
Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric, and exotic capital city in Asia. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel for check in. The remainder of the day offers free time for you to explore Hanoi's wide tree-lined avenues, beautiful lakes, ancient pagodas, and thriving historic old city.
Early this morning, you'll be driven to the strikingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, to board the traditional wooden junk boat and cruise the emerald waters studded with a thousand or so karst limestone islands. Later opt for a refreshing swim in one of the many sheltered coves before taking row boats to the picturesque waterway known as 'Dark & Bright Lagoon'. Tonight, there's a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.
Overnight: Halong Bay, Deluxe Junk Boat with Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Start the day with Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs, the boat sails back to Hanoi.
Arriving at Hanoi mid-afternoon, an hour or so is spent exploring the labyrinth of streets, known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’. Each of the narrow lanes is named after various guilds of the city’s artisans who established themselves here centuries ago. On a hair raising cyclo (rickshaw ride) you'll see the old quarter and the delightful Hoan Kiem Lake.
Tonight, board the overnight sleeper train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) operating on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue.
Overnight: Sleeper Train with Breakfast
Upon arrival at Hue, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. Pay a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin.
Afterwards, you'll be driven into the countryside to see the elaborate mausoleums of the Nguyen kings. As the sun sets, opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River or enjoy some retail therapy at the ever lively Dong Ba Market, a minute's walk from your hotel.
Overnight: Hue with Breakfast and Lunch
Today, take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other. En route you'll stop for a walk along My Khe beach, a beautiful stretch of coastline which was nicknamed 'China Beach' by the Americans during the war and famously featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’. Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing your journey south along the coast to Hoi An.
Compact Hoi An with its cobbled streets, tiny shop houses and laid back restaurants and bars is the perfect place to relax a while. On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes, and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
Overnight: Hoi An with Breakfast
On a bicycle ride to the local village of Tra Que, discover age-old farming practises and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where everyone can assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.
Day 7 is free for you to independently explore Hoi An. Relax by the beach or pool, or take a day trip to the Cham Kingdom site at My Son or My Lai - where the massacre of civilians took place at the hands of Charlie Company during the Vietnam War.
Overnight: Hoi An with Breakfast x 2 and Lunch x 1
Fly to Saigon and drive to the Mekong Delta. The fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as its fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking a sampan from Vinh Long, cruise downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming, stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island.
Overnight: Can Tho with Breakfast and Lunch
Early this morning, visit the lively Cai Rang floating market and drive to Saigon. On a walking tour of the city, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Saigon with Breakfast
This morning, pay a visit to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a sprawling underground network of tunnels and living quarters used by the Viet Cong during the war. Then you'll be driven to the Cambodian border (crossing at Moc Bai/Bavet) and continue on to the capital of Phnom Penh. Today the nation’s capital offers a bustling mix of Asia’s past and present; a city quickly taking its place amongst the trendy capitals of the region with superb restaurants and a number of attractions.
Overnight: Phnom Penh with Breakfast and Dinner
Today, enjoy a full-day sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh starting at the National Museum of Fine Arts, a graceful terracotta building of traditional design housing the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. Continue with the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, famed for its lavish decorations – the floors are paved with silver tiles and statues of Buddha are encrusted with thousands of diamonds.
Later, you'll come face to face with the horrors of the Pol Pot regime on a visit to Toul Sleng (Security Prison - S21); a school that was gruesomely transformed into a torture chamber under the Khmer Rouge, and at the Killing Fields where over 10,000 people were executed.
Overnight: Phnom Penh with Breakfast
Hotel check out and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Siem Reap. After time to freshen up, the group will visit the Angkor National Museum - a fascinating archaeological museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of Angkorian artefacts and Khmer civilisation, with collections mainly dated from Khmer Empire's Angkor period circa 9th to 14th-century.
This afternoon, explore incredible and iconic Angkor Wat, easily the most famous and best-preserved of all the temples within the Angkor complex. It is a massive three-tiered structure crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. Believed to be the largest religious building in the world; Angkor Wat contains thousands of wall carvings and extensive bas-reliefs. Spend the evening at leisure. The compact city centre has plenty of great bars and restaurants which are easily navigated on foot.
Overnight: Siem Reap with Breakfast
Early this morning opt to see Angkor Wat bathed in the spectacular golden light of sunrise. Later drive out to see the well-preserved temples of Banteay Srei, stopping at an exotic butterfly sanctuary along the way. Considered by many to be the art gallery of Angkor with some of the finest stone carvings in the world; Banteay Srei is dedicated to Shiva and contains lavishly-decorated libraries and stunning reliefs of divinities. This afternoon, return to the Angkor Temple Complex to explore the ancient city of Angkor Thom which was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire and is home to the fascinating Bayon Temple, the Baphuon royal enclosure and the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King. The last temple you'll visit is Tra Prohm, swallowed by the jungle; vast muscular roots envelop the crumbling towers and walls of the temple whilst the trees’ foliage dapples it in shade.
This evening you're guaranteed to be entertained watching the incredible Phare Cambodian Circus. The Phare NGO circus project trains street kids to become very talented circus artists and the popular show blends circus skills with interpretations of modern life and issues in Cambodian society.
Overnight: Siem Reap with Breakfast
This morning enjoy a drive to Kampong Phluk, a cluster of three villages of stilt house built within the floodplain of Tonle Sap lake about 16km southeast of Siem Reap. Admire houses built on soaring stilts which hover over the Tonle Sap Lake whilst nearby, the petrified trees of a flooded forest are revealed whenever the water level drops. After a boat trip on the lake and lunch, return to Siem Reap where the afternoon is free for you to spend at leisure. Perhaps pick up some last-minute souvenirs at the central market or head down to lively Pub Street.
Overnight: Siem Reap with Breakfast and Lunch
Today marks the end of your memorable journey. Spend the morning at leisure before hotel check out and your departure transfer to the airport.