Includes 13 nights' accommodation in Vietnam and Cambodia - comprising two nights in Hanoi, one night aboard a boat in Halong Bay, two nights in Hoi An, two nights in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, one night in Can Tho, one night in Chau Doc, two nights in Phnom Penh, and two nights in Siem Reap.
This 14-day The Best of Vietnam & Cambodia adventure starts with your flight from the UK to Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport. Transfer to your hotel for a two-night stay. The following day enjoy a full-day Relive 1950's Hanoi tour, taking in Ba Dinh Square and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison, and a rickshaw ride through Hanoi's Old Quarter.
Transfer to Got Ferry Terminal for an overnight boat stay taking in: a tour around the Halong Bay's karsts, kayaking at Ao Ech, swimming at Tra Bau in Lan Ha Bay, a traditional cooking class, candlelight dinner, breakfast, a visit to Trung Trang Cave by bus, brunch, and a traditional tea ceremony.
Fly to Hoi An for the next two nights including a tour of the city's Japanese Bridge, Chinese Temple, and Tan Ky trading house. Your next destination is Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon for two nights where you'll experience a half-day tour of the city visiting the Central Post Office, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, and Dong Khoi Street.
The Mekong Delta and exploring Ben Tre are next; including: visiting a Phong Nam brick factory, cruise by sampan along the Chet Say River, carpet-weaving workshop, ride on a xe loi motorised rickshaw, traditional lunch, and a leisurely canal cruise to Can Tho for an overnight stay. A morning visit to Cai Rang market is followed by a journey to Chau Doc for the night.
The following day, cruise by boat to the Cambodian border and onwards to Phnom Penh for two nights; plenty time to tour the city's National Museum and Royal Palace. Fly to Siem Reap for two nights for the finale of your trip; visits to Angkor Thom, Angkor Wat, and Ta Prohm. On Day 15, transfer to the airport to board your flight back home to the UK with treasured memories.
|Day 1||UK to Hanoi|
|Day 2||Hanoi - Relive 1950's Hanoi on a cycle rickshaw|
|Day 3||Hanoi - Shuttle bus to Ha Long Bay - Lan Ha Bay - Overnight on the Peony Cruise|
|Day 4||Lan Ha Bay – Shuttle bus back to Hanoi - Flight to Danang - Hoi An|
|Day 5||Hoi An Ancient Town|
|Day 6||Hoi An to Danang - Flight to Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon - Visit the tumultuous capital of the South|
|Day 7||Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon|
|Day 8||Ho Chi Minh City to Ben Tre to Can Tho|
|Day 9||Cai Rang Floating Market to Can Tho to Chau Doc|
|Day 10||Chau Doc to Phnom Penh|
|Day 11||Phnom Penh free day|
|Day 12||Phnom Penh and Flight to Siem Reap|
|Day 13||Siem Reap to Angkor Thom to Angkor Wat to Ta Prohm|
|Day 14||Siem Reap to UK|
Your 14-day tour starts with the arrival of your flight from the UK into Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport. You'll be warmly welcomed by your local guide and travel to your Hanoi hotel by private vehicle for check in (from 14.00 for most hotels) for a two-night stay. Early check-in is not included, please advise if this is required and lunch and dinner is at your own expense.
At 08:30 this morning, you'll start your trip with a visit to Ba Dinh square, centre of the Ho Chi Minh complex (including the Mausoleum - the outside, the One-Pillar Pagoda and the Presidential Palace). Located about 2km to the west of Sword Lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum holds special meaning for Vietnamese and the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh - often known as 'the father of the nation' - is to be found inside. You'll then visit the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu in Vietnamese) home to 82 of the original 116 stela engraving the names of the winners from doctorate competitions; outside you can admire the Vietnamese architecture of the ancient courtyards, altars, and roofs. Your journey continues to Hoa Lo Prison, used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War; when it was known as the 'Hanoi Hilton'. The prison was demolished during the 1990s, though the gatehouse remains as a museum. Then, you'll have the chance travel through the Old Quarter on a cycle rickshaw; discovering the bustling streets of the 'Quarter of the 36 guilds' with its abundant artisans, tinsmiths, jewellers, calligraphers, carpenters, leather or rattan goods, and so much more. The rest of day is free to relax and explore the Old Quarter on your own. Lunch and dinner are at your own expense before your overnight stay at the hotel in Hanoi.
This morning leave Hanoi behind and transfer by shuttle bus to Got Ferry Terminal on Halong Bay. Upon arrival, take a special tea at Peony Cruise’s lounge before being transferred by tender to board a comfortable and charming Peony Cruise boat and begin your exploration of magical Halong Bay. A Welcome Drink is followed by a cruise briefing, safety instructions, and check in. Start cruising and explore Halong Bay - one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Sail through Da Chong islet, where you can see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago, and enjoy an International Buffet Lunch while passing via the islets of Con Vit area. The amazing limestone karst formations rise up out of the sea as the boat follows the route via the Cat Ba Island, Thoi Quyt area, Coc Ngoi islet, and through Gia Luan area. Continue to Ao Ech, where you can enjoy kayaking to discover the hidden charm of Lan Ha Bay. Travel through Tra Bau in Lan Ha Bay, where the water is ideal for swimming. Admire the sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin and then join a traditional Vietnamese cooking class with the chef. In the early evening the boat has its Happy Hour deal and an excellent, fresh seafood lunch and candlelight deluxe dinner are also served onboard. After dinner; enjoy the landscape of the bay at night up on the top deck whilst enjoying drinks from the bar. Try your hand at night squid fishing or perhaps watch a film in the restaurant.
Set your alarm clock to enjoy the spectacular dawn over the bay. After a morning bathe and breakfast on board; continue your cruise to explore the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay's limestone pillars before stepping aboard a bus at Cat Ba Island to travel into Kim Giao forest around Trung Trang Cave. Back onboard your cruise boat you'll have time to check out and pay your bill before a delightful brunch and tea ceremony in the restaurant and arrival at mid-day at the quay side for disembarkation. Transfer by shuttle bus back to Hanoi centre where your driver will be waiting to take you to Noi Bar airport for your flight to Danang. Be welcomed by your driver at Danang airport, then be transferred (without guide) to the city for check-in for a two-night stay at the hotel in Hoi An with all lunches and dinners at your own expense.
In the morning, you'll visit Hoi An, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site for its well-preserved ancient streets and houses. The town features a harmony of Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, and French architectural elements, which can be seen from the famous Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple, and Tan Ky trading house. Return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Lunch and dinner at your own expense.
Free morning to explore the ancient town, then you'll be transferred (no guide) to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon. Be warmly welcomed by your local guide at the airport and travel to your hotel for check-in for a two-night stay. Your room is available from 14:00. In the afternoon, you'll embark on a half-day tour. Your discovery of the capital of the South would not be complete without a visit to the city’s main historical sites: the Central Post Office, whose metal structure was designed by Gustave Eiffel; Notre-Dame Cathedral (outside), constructed from red bricks and resembling Notre-Dame in Paris; the Reunification Palace and Dong Khoi Street. Back to the hotel where lunch and dinner are at your own expense.
Today you are free to explore at your leisure (no guide, no vehicle), with lunch and dinner on your own expense.
In the morning you'll depart from Ho Chi Minh City to explore Ben Tre in the Mekong delta, also known as the 'Green Venice' of Vietnam. After visiting a brick factory in Phong Nam, step onto a boat for a cruise along the Chet Say River. You'll make several stops along the way to discover different local workshops. The boat will then cross a small canal and stop at a small village, where you'll visit a workshop specializing in carpet-weaving; you'll even be able to try this activity yourself, before hopping in a xe loi or on a bicycle to wander around the village. You'll see traditional farms, rice fields, and vegetable plants; before stopping at a small local restaurant to taste a delicious lunch made of regional specialties. In the afternoon you'll get back on the sampan for some leisure time along the narrow canals. Continue your trip to Can Tho where you'll check into your hotel and spend the evening at leisure. Dinner at your own expense and overnight at the hotel in Can Tho.
In the morning, you'll depart for a discovery tour of the Mekong. At Cai Rang market, you'll get a glimpse of the lively atmosphere, where people sell and buy all sorts of fruits and fish from the Delta. On each boat, a long pole with a piece of fruit or vegetable attached to the end serves as an emblem indicating the type of goods sold on the boat - like pineapples, oranges, salad vegetables, or turnips. After visiting the floating market, you'll be back in Can Tho at mid-morning, check out of your hotel and travel to Chau Doc (2.5 - 3 hour driving). Travel by boat to the Cambodian border where you'll observe the daily life of fishermen and the Cham ethnic group existing to the rhythm of the Mekong. After the visit you'll head back to your hotel. Lunch and dinner are at your own expense before your overnight stay at the hotel in Chau Doc.
Travel by a join-in boat from Chau Doc to the Cambodian border where you'll complete the customs and immigration formalities on both sides (visa on arrival at your own expense). You'll then continue your cruise towards Phnom Penh where you'll arrive in the early afternoon. Check-in to your hotel after 14:00; then go and explore the capital city of Cambodia which is located at the meeting point of three rivers: the Bassac, the massive Tonle, and the impressive Mekong. Phnom Penh owes its difference to other Asian capitals, thanks to the modernity coupled with provincial charm and the French-colonial touches set amongst Angkorian monuments. Begin your journey through the bustling capital with a visit to the National Museum; home to the world's greatest collections of Khmer sculptures, ceramics, and ethnographics. The last stop is at the Royal Palace; previously, the complex of four main areas functioned as the Royal Residence of the King of Cambodia. Then, continue on to Phnom Penh Central market for some shopping time at your leisure. After the tour, head back to the hotel. Lunch and dinner are at your own expense before your overnight stay at the hotel in Phnom Penh.
Today you are free to explore at your own leisure. Lunch and dinner are at your own expense before your overnight stay at the hotel in Phnom Penh.
After breakfast, travel to the airport for your mid-day flight to Siem Reap. On arrival, you'll be welcomed by a local guide and transferred to your hotel for check in. Spend the rest of the day free at your leisure with meals on your own expense. Overnight at the hotel in Siem Reap.
This morning, you'll travel on a road surrounded by 100-year-old huge trees. All of a sudden, a majestic stone door will appear, gateway to Angkor Thom called 'the big city'. Magically emerging from nowhere, admire the massive curious smiling faces carved in stone - the Bayon Temple, built around the 12th to 13th century. This amazing edifice is surrounded by 54 towers, each of them adorned with four faces. You'll then travel to Baphuon, a temple mountain built in the 11th-century, that has recently been restored. Then, admire the Terrace of the Elephants which was used for royal audiences and public ceremonies. Continue your visit to the Terrace of the Leper King, built in the 12th century, covered by magnificent Apsara sculpting. In the afternoon, visit the most famous temple: Angkor Wat. Starting by the central aisle, you'll realise soon how huge it is. The architectural achievement is also artistic, from the wonder of the structure to the little details all over it. Finish the day by visiting Ta Prohm, a temple which has been eaten by the tropical nature, and then enjoy the sunset view at the Pre Rup temple. Lunch and dinner are at your own expense, followed by an overnight at the hotel in Siem Reap.
At a good time, travel by private vehicle and without guide to Siem Reap Airport for your departure flight. Room in Siem Reap is at disposal until 12.00 noon only and meals at your own expense.