12 days Vietnam & Cambodia Expedition

Day 1: Hanoi sightseeing


Our day of sightseeing in Hanoi begins with a visit to the solemn Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a revered monument honoring the country's beloved leader. As we pay our respects, we also explore the nearby Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh's living quarters, gaining insight into his life and legacy. Our journey continues with a visit to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, a symbol of Vietnamese spirituality and architectural splendor.

Our exploration of Hanoi continues with a visit to the serene Temple of Literature, a revered symbol of Vietnam's rich cultural and educational heritage. As we step through its ancient gates, we're transported back in time to a place of profound significance.

Founded in 1076 as the country's first university, the Temple of Literature served as a center of learning and scholarship for generations of scholars and intellectuals. Today, it stands as a testament to Vietnam's enduring commitment to education and enlightenment.


Continuing our journey, we venture to the Museum of Ethnology, a vibrant showcase of Vietnam's diverse ethnic minority groups. Through its colorful exhibits, both indoors and outdoors, we gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural mosaic that defines the nation. Continuing our exploration, we take a stroll through the enchanting alleyways of Hanoi's Old Quarter, where guilded streets lead us to the bustling Dong Xuan Market. Here, we witness the vibrant hustle and bustle of daily life, immersing ourselves in the sights, sounds, and flavors of the Old Quarter.

As the afternoon draws to a close, we take in the architectural splendor of Hanoi's French-colonial buildings and unwind with a leisurely stroll along the picturesque shores of Hoan Kiem Lake. Surrounded by lush greenery and ancient temples, the lake offers a tranquil oasis in the heart of the bustling city. In the evening, we attend water puppet show, a tradition that dates back centuries. Accompanied by traditional Vietnamese music, the enchanting performance brings to life scenes from rural Vietnam with its charm and artistry. After the show, we retire to our hotel for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 2: Hanoi / Bai Tu Long Bay

Departing from your hotel in Hanoi between 8:00 to 8:30, we reach Bai Chay, the gateway to Bai Tu Long Bay. Upon arrival, we embark on a boating adventure, gliding through the serene waters of Bai Tu Long Bay. Discover hidden coves and towering karst formations as we explore this pristine marine landscape. Our journey continues to Cap La, where we have the opportunity to embark on a kayaking excursion. Paddle through crystal-clear waters, marveling at the beauty of the surrounding limestone cliffs.

As the sun begins to set, we make our way to Cong Do, where we will spend the night aboard our comfortable boat. Relax on the deck and soak in the tranquil atmosphere as you enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by our onboard chef. Fall asleep to the gentle lapping of the waves, surrounded by the beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)


Day 3: Bai Tu Long Bay / Halong Bay / Hue

After a serene night spent on the boat in Cong Do, we wake up to the stunning vistas of Bai Tu Long Bay. Our journey continues as we make our way to Vung Vieng floating village, a captivating community built on the waters of the bay. Explore the village and learn about their traditional way of life. Next, we head back to Bai Chay, where our adventure in Bai Tu Long Bay comes to an end. From there, we embark on our journey to Hanoi airport to  board a flight to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue we are picked up and transferred to the hotel for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 4: Hue / Hoi An

Hue is well-known for its beauty and seclusion. Situated on the banks of the Perfume River in Central Vietnam, Hue served as the capital during the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 until 1945. The city remains the historic and cultural heart of Vietnam, retaining its imperial feel with a collection of royal palaces, shrines, and theaters housed within the UNESCO-listed Complex of Hue Monuments. One of the top landmarks is the 19th-century Thien Mu Pagoda.

Let the royal past come to life among the ruins of the Imperial Citadel. In the morning, we will explore the Citadel, a fortress surrounded by a moat with a 10 km (6 mile) perimeter. The site encompasses eight villages and covers 6 km², providing enough space to house the Emperor, his family, courtiers, bodyguards, and servants. We will visit the Thien Mu Pagoda before we head to Hoi An. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 5: Hoi An

We begin with a drive through coastal rice paddies and then traverse the spectacular Hai Van Pass along the mountains en route to Hoi An (about a 4-hour journey). Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An was a major trading port with the West from the 15th to the 19th century. Hoi An's Old Town is brimming with handmade lanterns, rickshaws, graceful low-rise merchant houses, tailor shops, and fresh markets.


Today, Hoi An has been well restored to look exactly as it did more than a century ago, giving it an old-world charm full of nooks and crannies to explore. Upon arrival, we take a delightful stroll along the narrow streets and visit a local temple or some traditional Vietnamese houses.
 

We have some free time in Hoi An, a true shopping mecca. Browse the locally made paintings, woodwork, ceramics, and embroidery. The city is also famous for its talented tailors who work with beautiful fabrics at reasonable prices. We will spend the night in a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included)


Day 6: Hoi An / Da Nang / Ho Chi Minh City

This morning we have free time to see Hoi An. Early in the afternoon our driver picks us up and then brings you to Da Nang airport for taking a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City airport we will be welcomed by our friendly driver and transferred directly to our hotel for the night. (Breakfast is included)

Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City / Cao Dai Temples / Cu Chi Tunnels

Today we see the war museum before we head to Cao Dai Temples and then to Cu Chi Tunnels. Here, we wander around and spend time interacting with the local people, before we visit the tunnels which stretched over 250 km from Saigon to the Cambodian border.At the height of its existence, the tunnel system was three levels deep. Arriving back to Ho Chi Minh City for our accommodation for the night. (Breakfast and lunch and are included)

Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City / Mekong Delta

Departing from your hotel between 7:45 to 8:00 we drive to Ben Tre. Upon arrival, we board a boat to explore the intricate waterways. Often referred to as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the fertile delta is where rice, tropical fruit, and flowers are grown for the whole country. During our exploration, we have the opportunity to sample tropical fruit, visit a honey farm, and learn more about rural life. Tonight's homestay, close to the delta and hosted by a Vietnamese family, will be one of the highlights of our trip. It will give us a taste of community life as well as the chance to enjoy a traditional home-cooked meal. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 9: Mekong Delta / Ho Chi Minh / Siem Reap

Early this morning, we board a boat to see Cai Rang floating market. Afterward, we embark on a drive back to Ho Chi Ming City. Here we explore the city before we are transferred to Ho Chi Minh City airport  to take a flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival we are picked up and brought to the hotel for the night, (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 10: Siem Reap / Ankor Thom / Angkor Wat

We rise at dawn to embark on our journey to the majestic Angkor Wat, the largest religious building in the world. This 12th-century temple, a symbol of Khmer pride and strength, captivates with its perfect blend of symbolism and symmetry. As we explore the intricate bas-reliefs that stretch for nearly a kilometer, we unravel tales of Hindu mythology and the glories of the Khmer empire. Ascending to the upper levels of the sanctuary, we experience the steep final steps leading to the sacred heart of Angkor Wat, where spirituality and symmetry converge in an awe-inspiring manner.

In the afternoon, we venture into the immense walled city of Angkor Thom, an architectural masterpiece by King Jayavarman VII. The staggering scale of the city leaves us in awe as we approach its gates. The causeway adorned with a captivating bridge depicting the Churning of the Ocean of Milk sets the stage for our exploration. We begin at the Terrace of the Leper King, originally thought to represent a leprous ruler but now believed to depict Yama, the god of death. Continuing along the Terrace of Elephants, once a grand viewing gallery, we reach the resplendent Baphuon Temple, meticulously restored and open to visitors.

Our ultimate highlight is the enchanting Bayon Temple, located at the center of Angkor Thom. Its iconic 54 towers, crowned with the serene faces of Avalokiteshvara, exude both power and compassion. We unravel the mysteries of the bas-reliefs, portraying ancient battles and snapshots of everyday life during the Angkor period, before embarking on a climb upward. The night is spent in a hotel. (Breakfast is included)


Day 11: Siem Reap / Kbal Spean / Banteay Srei (including the Phare Circus)

In the morning, we will visit the enchanting Banteay Srei. This temple appears to have been designed with no space left undecorated, featuring fine carvings in unique pink sandstone. We will then continue by car to a small chain of hills. After about an hour, we will arrive near Kbal Spean and continue our journey on foot. After approximately a 40-minute walk, we will hear the sound of a waterfall.

We will discover that the riverbed and surrounding rocks are covered with carvings representing the gods of the Brahma religion, dating back as far as the 11th century. This area is known as the "Thousand Lingas River." The water flows over sculptures of Vishnu, Lakshmi, Hanuman, Rama, and many Lingas, which were carved in stone to sanctify the water and thank the gods for their gift. The sound of a small waterfall will tempt us to follow the river further through the small gorge.

In the evening, we will enjoy a performance at Phare, the Cambodian Circus. This circus uses theater, music, dance, and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories—historical, folk, and modern. We will stay overnight in the same hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included)


Day 12: Departure

Today, we will be transferred to Ho Chi Minh City airport to catch our flight home. (Breakfast is included)
 

The facts:

The trip cost:

 

  • $1690USD per person for a group of 2 to 6 people
  • $1495USD per person for a group of 7 to 10 people
     

The cost of the trip includes:
 

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Meals listed on the itinerary
  • Purified drinking water
  • Tour guide(s)
  • Entrance fees
     

The cost of the trip does not include: 
 

  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks (soft drinks, alcohol)
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Other personal expenses such as shopping, telephone, laundry and bar bills etc...


What to Bring: Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, small day pack for cycling, walking and hiking. We also recommend packing: insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat

Have a great journey!!!